Leader of the Band II

It's been 2 years, and we are well overdue for a "Leader of the Band" rematch! Pictured above is our reigning champion, Jake! The photo contest will be open to all families, not just Kindermusik families or families from the Delightful Sounds studio, so if you've you got a child who loves music, make sure to send us a picture of them singing, dancing, playing an instrument, or enjoying music as a family! To enter, email your picture along with your child's first name, birth date, and your contact information in the email. Entries should be for children who are currently 0-6 years old. Your pictures must be received by October 7th. All entries will be then be uploaded to a photo album on the Delightful Sounds' Facebook page. You will be able to vote for your favorite photos there from October 10th-21st. (Anyone who votes will have to "like" our page.) The winner will be announced on October 24th, so get those cameras flashing!

I'm not your friend - I'm your mother

Parenting is a tough job! We want our children to feel loved, encouraged, and successful, and there are so many ideas about how to successfully accomplish this. Maybe you've found yourself asking one of these questions-How young is too young to understand the concept of "no"? Will boundaries make my child see me as an ogre instead of a loving parent? If I challenge my child to do things even when they are difficult, will I hurt their self-confidence?

In an article by Barbara Minton about the importance of boundaries, she states, "Image you are standing on the roof deck of a skyscraper. There are no railings, the wind is blowing and the building sways. Where would you be? You would probably be in the center where you could gather some feeling of security. Now imagine there are high sturdy railings around the edge of the roof deck. You walk over to the railing, push on it a few times to make sure it is sturdy and will hold. Now you feel secure and free to stand by the edge, maybe even look down or out into the beyond." I found this to be a great word picture on the importance of boundaries. Your child needs the security of a loving parent who will guide and support them as they learn about the world around them. They require someone to teach them right from wrong. My wise grandmother used to say that the misbehavior of children was an subconscious cry to be reminded of the boundaries. They wanted someone to care enough to tell them "no", and the sooner you start working on that the better. Here are a few things to consider:
  • Always clearly and consistently enforce your boundaries.
  • Lead by example, because your children are watching.
  • Boundaries as an expression of your loving care for your child, not a means of control over them.
  • Your child wants a parent not just another friend.
Until next time...
Mrs. Aimee

Screen time needs a time out!

Earlier this week, we posted a research article on our facebook page about how TV shows like SpongeBob effect the development of young children. However, I am concerned that not enough parents understand the negative effects of too much screen time as a whole. We live in a world consumed with technology, such as TV, video games, IPads, lap tops, and more. Many parents see nothing wrong with allowing their children to enjoy these items as long as they deem the content "eduational". However studies show that too much time spent in front of the screen can have a damaging effect on your child's development, such as sleep issues, language delays, obesity, and inability to focus. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that children under 2 years old should not watch any television and that children older than 2 shouldn't watch more than one to two hours of TV a day. Here are a few facts I discovered in my research:
  • 20 percent of children under 2 have televisions in their rooms. [Source: AAP]

  • Parents spend an average of 3.5 minutes each week in meaningful conversation with their children. [Source: CSUN]
  • The average child watches 1,680 minutes of television each week. [Source: CSUN]
  • 70 percent of day care centers use TV during a typical day. [Source: CSUN]
  • 54 percent of 4-6 year-olds, when asked to choose between watching TV and spending time with their fathers, preferred television. [Source: CSUN]
I found some of these statistics quite alarming. I would encourage you to carefully consider where your family stands on this issue. You can find some great tips for encouraging good television habits in your home at this link.

Sleep like a baby...

The author, Leo J. Burke, once said, "People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one." How many parents can attest to the truth of this statement. In fact, as a developmental specialist for young children, sleep related issues are among my most popular topics in discussions with parents. Toddlers and children under 3 years of age should sleep about 12 hours a night with a one to two hour nap during the day. Babies will require two or more naps in addition to the 12 hours a night, and older children will drop the nap and sleep around 10 hours a night.

Many parents express frustration in getting their children to sleep. Perhaps the child cries or keeps getting back up. I know it's tempting to give in to unhealthy sleeping habits. Sleep deprivation can really wear you down, but the sooner you can establish healthy sleep patterns the better. Here are a few tips to remember:

  • Activities leading up to bedtime should be calm and quiet.
  • Establish a nightly bedtime routine so your child will know what to expect.
  • Avoid using DVDs or the TV to help your child fall asleep.
  • Dim the lights and any household noise to signal it is time for sleep.
  • Try to help your child learn to self sooth and relax.
  • If your child is afraid, try a night light or sitting in the room until he/she is comfortable.
  • Avoid using "quick fixes" that you know you will not be able to continue long term.
Wishing you sweet dreams,