Jacksonville Kids' Directory Blog

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Going to Bed — And Staying There!

Going to Bed — And Staying There!

Going to Bed — And Staying There!
Bedtime. The calmest, most peaceful time of day. You tell your drowsy little munchkins that it’s time for bed and they all yell, “Yay!” They run off to get into their pajamas, brush their teeth, and crawl into bed. You tuck all your kiddos in, kiss them goodnight, and head for the door. Their little eyelids are slowly closing. Now, it’s time for you to relax!

It’s not like this in your house? Actually, it’s not like this in ANY house without some preparation, a plan, and some good old consistency.

The Basic Bedtime Method

It all starts with what we call The Basic Bedtime Method. There are two steps:

Pick a bedtime and stick to it.
Create a Bedtime Routine.
1. Time for Bed!

Step one is to pick a bedtime and stick to it. Period. You absolutely must be consistent with the bedtime. Why? Because every time you alter the bedtime “just this once,” you’re letting your child discover an opening for negotiating bedtime with you each and every night.

2. Bedtime Routine

The next component of the Basic Bedtime Method is setting up a Bedtime Routine. This is what you do:

Set timer for 20-30 minutes. Let your child know that he needs to use the bathroom, put on pajamas, brush his teeth, get a drink, and anything else you can think of before the timer goes off. Older children (about 6 and up) are on their own. The little guys will need more supervision.

Now, let each child know that any time that remains after he has completed his routine is time that the two of you can spend together! Your special time together can be spent either reading or quietly chatting. These activities take place once your child is already in bed. If he doesn’t finish his routine in time, he goes straight to bed and the lights go out. No arguing.

What If They Get Out of Bed?

Kids get up after lights out for one of two reasons, or some combination of both: 1) Boredom: Life is fun, bed is boring and 2) Fear: It's too dark in here, there's a monster in my closet, etc.

For getting out of bed we use the "cut them off at the pass" routine. Here's how it works.

Say you know—if you leave the area—your child will get up right away after your bedtime routine. Immediately after lights out, therefore, sit in the bedroom doorway with your back facing the room. If fear is the issue, having you right there will make him feel more secure. Don’t talk to him, don’t look at him. Read a magazine or a book until the youngster goes to sleep. No noisy video games on your tablet!

If he gets up, you pick him up and put him back without saying anything. If you get tired of doing this, just let him fall asleep on the floor and cover him up. But commit yourself to two goals: a) He’s not leaving that room and b) You’re not talking to him. No matter what.

This is not fun and it can be time consuming the first few nights. But it is an investment in your and your child's future. We did "cut them off at the pass" with our 18-month-old son after he climbed out of his crib for the first time. He got the idea in a few nights, and within six weeks or so he was in a junior bed.

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JACKSONVILLE CHILDREN’S COMMISSION LAUNCHES AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAM LOCATOR TOOL

JACKSONVILLE CHILDREN’S COMMISSION LAUNCHES AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAM LOCATOR TOOL

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., July 31, 2014 —The Jacksonville Children’s Commission (JCC) and the City’s Information Technology GIS (Geographical Information Systems) group have created an online Afterschool Program Locator Tool to help families identify a conveniently located afterschool program. The Afterschool Program Locator Tool provides families with an easy to use and intuitive site to quickly learn which afterschool programs are most conveniently available to them based on their location.

The site uses map-based software, which allows families to enter an address or select a general area (zip code or council district). The tool then generates both a map and list of locations and gives users the option to click an icon to learn more about the afterschool program. In addition, the Afterschool Program Locator Tool provides an image of the program location in the details window of each site. Users also may scroll through an image list of all afterschool program locations and select a site to be shown on a map by clicking that image.

“Children should have access to quality afterschool programs in Jacksonville,” said Jon Heymann, Children’s Commission CEO. “The Afterschool Program Locator Tool provides easily accessible information for families interested in learning about afterschool programs provided by JCC. With the goal of expanding participation, this tool is an excellent resource for families and the community.”

In 2012, JCC was selected by The Wallace Foundation to participate in a system-building initiative to strengthen afterschool programs by establishing uniform quality standards, enhancing data collection and expanding participation to improve programs and outcomes. The Afterschool Program Locator Tool was developed with support from this grant.

JCC will provide afterschool programs to approximately 9,500 Duval County children this coming school year. Quality afterschool programs are one of JCC’s core services and flagship programs which operate in two models: TEAM UP school-based programs and Community-based programs, which are located throughout the city in a variety of community centers and nonprofit organizations.

The Afterschool Program Locator Tool can be found by clicking ‘Find an Afterschool Program’ at http://www.jaxkids.net.

About the Jacksonville Children’s Commission
The Jacksonville Children’s Commission was created in 1994, to serve as the central focus for the evaluation, planning and distribution of the city’s funds for children. The Commission works to ensure all children in Jacksonville are educated, safe and healthy. By investing in research-based prevention and early intervention programs, children grow and develop during out-of-school time; children enter kindergarten prepared to learn; children have stable and nurturing families; and children get early intervention and specialized services when they need it. For more information, visit http://www.jaxkids.net.
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Helping Jacksonville Grow Great Kids!
Jacksonville Children’s Commission
1095 A. Philip Randolph Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32206
Main (904) 630-3647 | http://www.JaxKids.net

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Tantrums! What To Do

Tantrums! What to Do

Of all the behavioral problems parents face from their children, temper tantrums are probably the most upsetting as well as the hardest to manage—especially in public. Major meltdowns may also be the most potent tool kids have when it comes to training their parents to do what the children want. Moms and dads who fear tantrums have an extremely difficult time maintaining control of their own children—at home and away.

But the next time you are faced with a child’s tantrum, consider making two new and drastic changes—one in the way you think and the other in what you do.

What to Think
Drastic change #1 is understanding meltdowns differently. Tantrums are normal. They occur most frequently in children ages about one to five. Kids’ tantrums are usually a reaction to good parenting (setting rules and boundaries and sticking with them), not a sign that mom or dad has done something wrong.

The kids want a lollipop at 6:30 a.m.; they don't want to go to bed at 9 p.m.; or they want to play Angry Birds right at dinnertime. Since parents can't—and shouldn’t—give children everything the youngsters want, the kids will often protest by grumbling, whining or by throwing a tantrum. The critical issue here is what a parent does if the child "decides" to blow up.

What to Do
That brings us to drastic change #2. Surprisingly, talking and reasoning after a child starts grumbling or protesting are sure ways to bring on a meltdown! Why? Because children perceive parents' reasons and explanations as parental whimpering—sure signs that the parent doesn't know what he or she is doing.

Usually the kids are correct in this assessment! Often parents are, in fact, bewildered and confused by kids' meltdowns. The older folks just want the yelling to stop. So? So, sensing weakness in mom or dad's resolve, the kids decide to go for the gold (whatever it is they want at the time) and they blast away.

Parental whimpering makes meltdowns worse. Parents need a Battle Plan that focuses on gentle but decisive actions—not words.

The absolutely necessary alternative to whimpering is "Checking Out" and utilizing the "10-Second Rule." When a child whines or melts down after a denied request, the parent has 10 seconds to gently disengage. No talking; no eye contact; and increase physical distance as much as possible. Parents' checking out will surprise and bewilder the little ones initially. For some children, brief consequences may also be helpful. But soon the kids will begin to realize that tantrums get them only one thing: Nothing.

Can you apply these strategies in public as well as at home? Not only can you, you must! Feeble attempts at reasoning or distraction in a restaurant or grocery store will bring on World War III in no time at all.

If you are fed up with kids' meltdowns and all the useless yelling, arguing, begging and pleading that accompanies them, use this brief, easy-to-learn and effective approach and enjoy the results.

- See more at: http://www.123magic.com/1-2-3-Magic-Parenting-Newsletter-May-2014#sthash.h0EwanM6.dpuf

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