Sunday Night Reading List

Sunday Night Reading List – 06May2018

[This will be a weekly feature on Sunday nights (US Time) with a list of recommended reads for parents.]

Sunday Night Reading List

1. Digital Safety Guide

This incredible post from Tech Savvy Mama is a great primer for responsible parenting in the digital age. It provides an overview of key digital safety concerns at different age groups of children, and links to useful resources on how to handle their digital safety issues. Bookmark it now.

2. How to Get Out of a Creative Funk

Kelle Hampton, who blogs at Enjoying The Small Things answers a reader’s question on how she gets out of a creative funk. I am a parent who is interested in creative pursuits both independently and together with my daughter. I have these periods of un-inspiration, when I feel down and the creative output feels blocked. This answer by Kelle gave some useful tips on getting out of it.

3. Kids’ Science Experiment (Making Music With Water)

This was an interesting post in Hands On As We Grow blog, which shows how you can experiment with glasses filled with different levels of water, and making sounds with spoons, showing how pitch and tone vary and raise the curiosity of a child.

4. Tips for Traveling with a Toddler

Corinne McDermott has written this post with a lot of useful tips on how to relish a vacation with toddlers and kids, especially when you have to fly out. Her blog Have Baby Will Travel is sort of dedicated to helping parents continue to travel and explore the world with their kids.

5. 1000 Hours Outside

This blog started by a Michigan, US-based family provides suggestions and motivation to parents on how to ensure children get 1000 hours of activities outside the home per year. Those of you who are concerned about screen time of children and getting them to move outside, this blog has a lot of insightful content.

-o0o-

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Sunday Night Reading List

Sunday Night Reading List – 29Apr2018

[This will be a weekly feature on Sunday nights (US Central Time) with a list of recommended reads for parents.]

Sunday Night Reading List

1. Unconditional Love

You may have heard that you must love your child ‘unconditionally’. But have you stopped and thoughts about what it means, to you and your child? This post in the A Mother Far From Home blog explains the concepts and dispels a few myths about unconditional love.

2. Hands On As We Grow

This is a good resource for parents looking for engaging art and craft and other creative work to do with children. The activities are sorted by age group and quite easy to do. Please check out if you are looking for some inspiration to spend time with your children.

3. 15 Playful Ways to Handle Sibling Rivalry

My daughter is an only child so we have not experienced the sibling rivalry and its effects in our household. But if you have two or more kids and you are having to deal with sibling rivalry and jealousy and fights over it, then this post from Hand In Hand Parenting suggests a lot of good tips that will let you playfully handle and resolve the situation. Go on, try these out.

4. Eight kinds of Intelligence displayed by children

Motherly has a nice post outlining the eight different kinds of intelligence displayed by children, such as Linguistic, Logical, Musical, Interpersonal, etc. It is a framework that may help you to observe them carefully and understand their strengths, and areas to learn.

5. Incorporating Nature into Play

Peaceful Parenting has a very nicely designed infographic on why it is important to incorporate an appreciation and enjoyment of nature into children’s playtimes, and a few activities to do it. With summer and holidays around the corner, this is the time to start doing this.

-o0o-

Previous posts in this series – 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 

Sunday Night Reading List

Sunday Night Reading List – 22Apr2018

[This will be a weekly feature on Sunday nights (US Central Time) with a list of recommended reads for parents.]

Sunday Night Reading List

1. Happy Marriage

I read the guest post written by Megan Erdmann in the Coffee+Crumbs blog. Her personal experience resonated a lot with me on the importance of finding the little moments of love and warmth between the mom and dad in every family. This is an amazingly well-written post, please read it.

2. Helping Very Young Children Understand Death

This is a topic I’ve often wondered about. What can we say to explain death to very young children? (hopefully, there will be no real need for anyone.) Amalah (Amy) who is one of the contributors at AlphaMom has written a column in response to a reader’s question seeking advice on this subject. It is full of sensitivity and empathy to young children’s perspectives on this difficult subject, and includes a book recommendation too. I found it very useful.

3. Independent Playtimes for twin babies

This was something I had never thought about. When you have twin babies, they are literally together 24 x 7 (and this started even when they were inside the mother’s womb!) It is important for each of them to explore, play and grow in their individual personality without the twin influencing them. Caitlin’s guest post in Chronicles of a Babywise Mom discusses this topic and how to ensure independent play time for each twin. She has twin girls herself, so her advice is all from real experience.

4. 10 Ways Toddlers Put The ‘T’ in Toddler

A very funny post by April McCormick in the First Time Mom and Dad blog on the ten ‘T’ aspects related to every toddler. If you have/had a toddler, this is sure to make you reminisce and laugh!

5. You’re growing a person, not a problem

I found this excellent quote image in the Peaceful Parenting blog. It was a very powerful and useful reminder:

person not a problem

-o0o-

Previous posts in this series – 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 

Sunday Night Reading List

Sunday Night Reading List – 08Apr2018

[This will be a weekly feature on Sunday nights (US Central Time) with a list of recommended reads for parents.]

Sunday Night Reading List

[Photo by Meenaks]

1. Favorite Spring-time children’s books

Shannon Corliss, who is a contributor in the Babyccino portal has listed fourteen spring themed children’s books enjoyed by her kids. I have read a few of them myself, and I can tell that her picks are excellent. If you are looking for good books to start spring season, please check out the recommendations.

2. Why I Hate the Concept of Everybody Wins

Valerie Plowman who writes as Chronicles of a Babywise Mom, has written this very impactful post on the importance of allowing our children to fail and learn through that experience. My daughter is at that age now (four years old) in which she gets extremely competitive even with my wife and I, and hates losing of any kind, and we are trying to figure out how to teach her to be better. These words by Valerie especially resonated very well with me.

My child cannot win at everything. My child needs to know that sometimes, you fail. Because in life, my child will fail. My child is a human and imperfect. Failure will come. My child needs to learn how to handle that failure. I don’t need to protect my child from failure; I need to guide my child through failure. My child can learn more from losing than from winning. How you respond to failure is what shapes your future.

Don’t miss reading it.

3. Best Science Podcasts for Kids

Podcasts are a great way of spending time usefully and learn many things. I listen to a lot of podcasts every week and they help me have interesting conversations with people. Amanda from Messy Motherhood has listed five great podcasts that provide science-related insights and learning to kids. Her first recommendation – NPR’s Wow In The World – is actually one of my favorites too. These are undoubtedly the best ways to introduce podcasts to your child. Especially if your kid is the kind who asks more than 300 questions per day to the parents (yeah, that’s the average!!), you better start doing this. 😀

4. Being a Resilient Parent

An important article from NewYorkTimes, for all parents, on how to raise resilient children – by being resilient parents yourself.

As parents, we want our children to be emotionally resilient — able to handle life’s ups and downs. But parents’ ability to foster resilience in our children hinges a great deal on our own emotional resilience.

5. There’s No One Like A Childhood Best Friend

This HuffPost article describing the author’s feelings towards her childhood friend made me reminisce about my own friends from my school days and college days. I thought it is important for my daughter to know about my best friends, and get introduced to them. How about you, does your child know about your childhood friends and your memories with them?

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Bonus: For some much needed comic relief, here is an amusing comic strip comparison of a parenting life that I saw and enjoyed this week: (via First Time Mom and Dad)

Errands-with-and-without-kids-watermark

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Previous posts in this series – 1 | 2 | 3 

Sunday Night Reading List

Sunday Night Reading List – 01Apr2018

[This will be a weekly feature on Sunday nights (US Central Time) with a list of recommended reads for parents.]

Sunday Night Reading List

[Photo by Meenaks]

1. How to Quickly Boost Your Child’s Money IQ?

Money is an important aspect of life that parents need to introduce to children. In today’s modern world, the sooner we do it, the better. This brilliant and comprehensive post from the blog “A Fine Parent” provides a lot of amazing tips and ideas on the when and how of speaking about money and making children understand it all through innovative and gamified activities.

2. Post-It Name Learning Activity

If you have an infant who is learning the alphabets right now, this is an interesting activity to try out at home, using just post-it notes. [via Busy Toddler blog.] It helps the child to learn to spell their name in a fun and easy manner. Try it out!

3. Five book series for kids who love Harry Potter

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am waiting for my daughter to grow up to introduce Harry Potter to her. But if your child has already started the series and likes it, this post from the Mom Advice blog gives suggestions for five other book series which would appeal to them. They are all from the similar fantasy genre. Give them a try.

4. Three things that happen to a baby’s body when they sleep

I was amazed to read this post from the Baby Sleep Site. (yeah, there’s a site dedicated to the topic!) There is useful information for new parents who want to ensure that your baby gets a full night’s restful sleep.

5. Mr. Sorto’s Class – The Salsa Way

I came across this interesting video of how a pre-school teacher is teaching salsa dance to his class in addition to math and science. Mr. Edwin Sorto is a professional dancer himself, and he says that the dance lessons help the children learn focus, discipline, team work and social skills. The video has very adorable dance moves by the children. There is a facebook page dedicated to following the activities of the kids (Mr. Sorto’s Class), it is very inspiring! Please check it out as well.

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Hope you enjoyed this post and the reading recommendations. Please comment and join the conversation. Please like/share the social media post that brought you here!

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Previous posts in this series – 1 | 2 

Sunday Night Reading List

Sunday Night Reading List – 25Mar2018

[This will be a weekly feature on Sunday nights (US Central Time) with a list of recommended reads for parents.]

Sunday Night Reading List

[Photo by Meenaks]

1. Reading the same book has its advantages

My daughter has a few favorite books that she likes me to read again and again and again and again for her. Although it sometimes frustrates me, I have to heed to her demand and end up reading it with her.   This article explains the advantages the child may get by re-reading the same book multiple times. These benefits include better vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, etc. [There was one book which my daughter read so many times that she memorized the whole book and could narrate by-heart without any prompts from me.] So take heart, all is well that repeats well! 🙂

2. Do you know the average number of questions asked by a four year old?

According to this post by Paula who blogs at Beauty Through Imperfection, a four year old asks 437 questions every day. Based on my experience, that sounds more like a conservative estimate! She says that each question is an opportunity for the parent to show love to the child. I have conducted sessions at my work place on Socratic Questioning methodology, so I know the importance of encouraging and nurturing a lot of questions from a curious child. So, don’t miss the chance to show(er) some love to your kid by answering those questions with patience.

3. Choosing the Right Sport for your Kid [Infographic]

Sport is an important physical activity that can help parents to direct the nearly-limitless energy exhibited by growing children. Besides, participation in sports helps to build character and understand team collaboration. I feel that the best aspect of sports is that it teaches the children to become resilient and “bounce back” from defeats. So, the blog Bounceback Parenting (a seamless segue, wouldn’t you agree?) has a lovely post featuring an infographic that helps you evaluate different sports and choose the one that would be right for your child. Do check it out.

4. 15 Tips for Wizarding World of Harry Potter tour at Orlando

I am a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, and I am waiting to introduce it to my daughter after she grows up a little more. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction at Orlando [Universal Studies] is something I am looking forward to visit, after my daughter has joined the fandom. I read this article by Zina Harrington at Lets Lasso The Moon with interest, as it gave very good tips to enjoy the stay and explore the attractions in the most efficient manner. I have bookmarked it for my future reference, but if you are planning a visit anytime soon, please check it out.

5. Ten Powerful Phrases for times when emotions are high

There are several instances in our parenting journey when we have to deal with our child’s emotional outbursts. It can be anger, sadness, frustration, disappointment, and what not. This incredible post at the blog Nurture and Thrive explains the right phrases we can use to engage with the child meaningfully, to help the child understand their own emotional state and handle it better. In short, these can help you to be your child’s emotion coach! Do go through it, I found it very insightful.

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Hope you enjoyed this post and the reading recommendations. Please comment and join the conversation. Please like/share the social media post that brought you here!

-o0o-

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Things Children Teach US

Things Children Teach Us! (#1)

(This is a series I plan to write on unexpected lessons and insights we get to learn from children, either based on my own experiences or things that I read/see from others’ experiences.)

We were having dinner at P.F.Chang’s recently. It is one of our family’s favorite restaurants to dine in together. My daughter was curious about the large mural displayed inside the restaurant. Later I searched and found that close to 60 murals (some fifty to sixty feet long, reflecting a variety of traditional motifs from Chinese history) were made for the restaurant group in the 1990s by the art firm Evans and Brown (of artists Mark Evans and Charley Brown). You can find samples of these murals for P.F.Chang’s along with their work for other restaurants in this lovely gallery page. (As an amateur artist, I was amazed and inspired by the work they have produced!)

The mural my daughter was particularly fascinated by is the one shown below –
PF-Chang-C2
(copyright Evans&Brown/P.F.Chang’s)

She asked about the picture and I was explaining to her about the country of China and their culture. She asked an intriguing question – “Why are the roofs of the houses curved and turning upwards?” I had no idea why the roofs are designed that way. She noticed the black feature at the end of the roof’s edges, designed like a water drop (her exact words), and asked about that too. Again, I drew a blank.

Later, after reaching home, I searched around about this. There are a few interesting theories about this architectural style.The most agreed-upon idea about the benefit of this style is that the upturned roof-edge (flying eave) had the practical effect of admitting the maximum amount of slanting winter sunlight and the minimum amount of down-pouring summer light”.

So the upward curve at the edge of the eaves maximizes sunlight entering the courtyard when the sun is in the southern sky during winter and maximizes the shaded area around the courtyard when the sun is more directly overhead in the summer.

(Excerpts from an essay about the Seattle Chinese Garden)

The other belief about the use of this style is based on Buddhism and its ancient principles of warding off evil with curves. If evil spirits were to descend from the sky, for instance, they would hit the roofs and be sent shooting back up and away.

I couldn’t figure out anything about the waterdrop shaped element at the end of the roof’s ridges. It’s purpose could be more aesthetic rather than functional,  but I thought there are some similarities with the kalasam of Hindu temples in India.

I was amazed to learn all of these interesting information, based off of my daughter’s line of questioning. I am always inspired by how children observe things around them with curiosity, and try to fit things into a pattern and ask question if they don’t know or don’t understand. Somehow, as we grow up into adults, we lose this wonderful ability to ask questions freely. This experience with my daughter was a reminder to reach back in time and rekindle the spirit of questioning!