Raising Multiples-Treika

/Raising Multiples
­

About Raising Multiples

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Raising Multiples has created 38 blog entries.

Positive Parenting: Building Healthy Relationships With Your Kids

Good information for all ages from our friends at the National Institutes of Health.

Parents have an important job. Raising kids is both rewarding and challenging. You’re likely to get a lot of advice along the way, from doctors, family, friends, and even strangers. But every parent and child is unique. Being sensitive and responsive to your kids can help you build positive, healthy relationships together.

“Being a sensitive parent and responding to your kids cuts across all areas of parenting,” says Arizona State University’s Dr. Keith Crnic, a parent-child relationship expert. “What it means is recognizing what your child needs in the moment and providing that in an effective way.”

This can be especially critical for infants and toddlers, he adds. Strong emotional bonds often develop through sensitive, responsive, and consistent parenting in the first years of life. For instance, holding your baby lovingly and responding to their cries helps build strong bonds.

Read more…

September 28th, 2017|Articles, Parents of Multiples|

Research Participants Needed! Earn $30-50!

Pearson, the nation’s leading provider of educational and clinical assessments, is updating the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development. The Bayley is used to measure multiple areas of development in infants and toddlers. But before this product can hit the market, Pearson must conduct field testing.  To do this, we are looking for infants and toddlers to help us “test the test”.

We are in need of infants and toddlers between the ages of 2 – 42 months who were born premature at less than 37 weeks gestation. We have a particularly high need for those born at less than 32 weeks gestation.

Time and location are flexible. Pearson will put you in touch with a qualified professional in your area with whom you can schedule a testing time and location that is convenient for you. Depending on your child’s age, testing sessions will last 30-90 minutes. Testing will take place through early 2018.

If interested, please complete the following form: Bayley Study Sign Up

July 12th, 2017|Infant Multiples|

Are You Raising an ‘Emotional Eater’?

HealthDay news image

From our friends at HealthDay.
Soothing your kids with food may stop the tears in the short-term. But researchers warn it can lead to unhealthy eating patterns long-term.Parents who are “emotional feeders” can encourage “emotional eating” — a habit linked to weight gain and eating disorders, the Norwegian-British study found.

“There is now even stronger evidence that parental feeding styles have a major influence on children’s dietary habits and how children relate to foods and beverages when it comes to addressing their own emotions,” said one expert, Rafael Perez-Escamilla. He’s a professor of epidemiology and public health at Yale University’s School of Public Health.

“Emotional feeding” is “what parents do when they provide foods or beverages to their children to calm them down, such as when a child is having a tantrum,” added Perez-Escamilla, who wasn’t involved with the study.

Relying on junk food, desserts and sugary foods for comfort can lead to overeating, and later problems such as bulimia and binge-eating, said study lead author Silje Steinsbekk and colleagues.

“You don’t feel like having a carrot if you’re sad,” said Steinsbekk, an associate professor of psychology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.

For the new study, the researchers looked at the feeding and eating habits of more than 800 children in Norway, starting at age 4. They checked in on the kids at ages 6, 8 and 10.

About two-thirds of the children at all those ages showed signs of eating to make themselves feel better, judging by questionnaires answered by their parents.

Kids offered food for comfort at ages 4 and 6 displayed more emotional eating at ages 8 and 10, the study found.

Also, the researchers also found signs that kids who felt more easily comforted by food were fed more by parents for that purpose.

“Emotional feeding increases emotional eating and vice versa,” Steinsbekk said.

The researchers spotted another trend: Children who became angry or upset more easily at age 4 were more likely to eat to feel better and to be fed by parents for that purpose.

“This makes total sense as parents get very stressed out when their children are having a fit or crying non-stop,” said Perez-Escamilla.

But there are better ways of dealing with discomfort, said Melissa Cunningham Kay, a research assistant with the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health.

“Feeling sad or angry are normal emotions. Rather than using food as a distraction from them, children should be taught to tolerate them and find other ways to cope,” said Kay, who was not part of the study.

“Sometimes that may involve positive discipline and a few tears or even a full-on tantrum,” said Kay. “Parents should not fear this. It is a normal and a necessary part of development.”

Perez-Escamilla said parents should soothe upset kids by understanding and responding to their problems — say, a wet diaper — instead of offering food as a first response, he said.

He praised the new research, noting that the eating habits of kids and their parents are closely intertwined.

“Young children develop their eating habits by observing how their caregivers eat,” he said. “If they see their caregivers drinking soda and eating junk food and desserts when the caregiver is stressed or upset, then that’s what the children will do when they are experiencing similar emotions.”

“Emotional eating should be avoided at all costs,” he added.

Study lead author Steinsbekk added: “There’s no reason to worry if you have a chocolate to feel better now and then. The problem is if this is your typical way of handling negative emotions.”

The same goes for dealing with kids, he said. “Parents are not supposed to be perfect, but good enough. Randomly using food to soothe your child is no big deal as long as you usually rely on other strategies,” he said.

The study authors cautioned that their review relied on questionnaires answered by parents, not direct observation by the scientists. And they noted that it took place in Norway with a population that’s well-educated and not very diverse, so the findings may not apply elsewhere.

The study appears April 25 in the journal Child Development.

12 Tips for Teaching Children Gratitude

Tired of bickering, jealousy, and selfishness? Kids are naturally materialistic and self-serving– but the good news is that gratitude can be taught. And from gratitude flows joy.

Tricks for Teaching Children Gratitude and Creating a More Joyful Home:

  1. Surprise them! Avoid too many choices: Surprises help children see something as a gift, not an entitlement. Having too many choices breeds unhappiness– you are always wondering if you could have something better. One night, we tried to have a conversation with our children about where we might go for our summer vacation. Within five minutes, Disney World was not good enough. Everyone had a better idea, and no one was going to be happy with whatever we came up with. I put a prompt end to that conversation, and about a week later, I announced that I had a big surprise– we were going to Mt. Rushmore! I showed off my plans for our national park camping vacation, and they couldn’t have been more excited. Our low-budget road trip turned out to be a fabulous success.
  2. Talk about the best parts of your day: Find some time each day to talk about what you are thankful for– perhaps at the dinner table, before bed, or while you are driving in the car. Ask your children, “What was the best part of your day?”
    • For older children, try keeping a gratitude journal. Gratitude journals have been shown to be an effective approach to helping children be happier: One study had 221 sixth- and seventh-graders write down five things they were grateful for every day for two weeks. Three weeks later, these students had a better outlook on school and greater life satisfaction compared with kids assigned to list five hassles.
  3. Teach your children their past: What are your family stories of hardship and perseverance? My husband’s great-grandmother ironed for a living– her iron is now a bookend in our house, reminding our children what hard work really means. As a child, my grandmother washed dishes for ten cents per week during the depression. We keep her picture in our study, and tell our children her story. Not sure of your past? Just take a family trip to the history museum, a battlefield, or other historic site. You will return home grateful.
  4. Help your children serve someone who does not “need” charity: It’s great for kids to participate in scout food collections and other community charity programs, but these events only occur a few times per year and you rarely meet the people you are serving. Find someone in your everyday life for your children to serve regularly, even if this person doesn’t really need charity. We have a neighbor who lives alone and appreciates our left-overs so she doesn’t have to cook for one person. Our kids love to bring her food. One night they were all griping about how they didn’t like the dinner I made, until I asked them to bring a plate to our neighbor. Suddenly all the complaining stopped and they were out the door with her food, eager to have the opportunity to serve her.
  5. Focus on the positive, all day: I tell my children several times each day, “Attitude is a choice.” Choosing to have a positive attitude is actually our #1 house rule. It’s an all-day effort to constantly turn around the whining, jealousy, and complaining and instead focus on positive. “I’m thirsty!” needs to become, “Mommy, may I please have a drink?” “Where are my shoes?!” has to change to “Daddy, can you please help me find my shoes?”
  6. Say “Thank you:” Teach young children to say “thank you” as part of a full sentence, for example, “Thank you, Daddy, for making dinner.” Encourage school-aged kids to say thank you throughout the day, especially when you help them get ready for school or drive them to activities. Have them thank coaches for practice and music teachers for lessons.
    • Struggling to get your children to say “thank you” without reminders? For ten years I reminded my children to say “thank you” when they were served at a restaurant, but I just couldn’t get them to do it without prompting. Now, if they forget to say “thank-you” they have to seek out their server and personally thank them before leaving. No more reminders necessary…
  7. Lead by example: How many times per day do you say “thank you”? Have you told your children what you are thankful for today? Our children are watching our every waking move. We can’t ask them to be grateful if we are not. Come home and talk about the happy parts of your day, making a conscious choice not to complain.
  8. Teach “‘Tis better to give than to receive.” Even toddlers can buy or make gifts for others: Take young children holiday shopping at the dollar store. Challenge them to pick out gifts for others without buying something for themselves. It’s hard!
  9. Make time for chores: Most children have about four hours between the time they get home from school and bedtime. During those four hours, they have to accomplish homework, extracurricular activities, dinner, bath, and bedtime. It’s hard to find time for chores. Without chores, children just can’t understand what it takes to run a household– they will take clean laundry and dishes for granted. Find age-appropriate chores for your children, even just 5-10 minutes per day. Consider leaving time-intensive chores for the weekend, such as yard work, bathroom cleaning, and linen changing.
  10. Let big kids take care of little kids: They say you can’t really understand what it takes to raise a child until you have your own children. Perhaps, but giving big kids responsibilities for little kids will start to help them have an attitude of gratitude towards their parents. Pair up big kids with little kids to get chores done or get through homework.
    • School aged children can read books to toddlers or help them get dressed. Your older children will gain self-confidence and a sense of responsibility, and the relationship they build with their younger siblings will last a lifetime.
  11. Give experiential gifts, not stuff: Too many toys? How about gifting a membership to the children’s museum, a soccer registration fee, or a camping trip? Experiential gifts build relationships, not materialism.
  12. Monitor your children’s media: Our children are bombarded with age-targeted marketing that they are too young to resist or understand. Media fuels materialism. It is our job to carefully monitor their media so that they aren’t dragged into marketing and made to feel incomplete or unfulfilled.

More

Research Offers Clues to Cause of Dyslexia

More good info. from our friends at HealthDay!

People with the reading disability dyslexia may have brain differences that are surprisingly wide-ranging, a new study suggests.

Using specialized brain imaging, scientists found that adults and children with dyslexia showed less ability to “adapt” to sensory information compared to people without the disorder.

And the differences were seen not only in the brain’s response to written words, which would be expected. People with dyslexia also showed less adaptability in response to pictures of faces and objects.

That suggests they have “deficits” that are more general, across the whole brain, said study lead author Tyler Perrachione. He’s an assistant professor of speech, hearing and language sciences at Boston University.

The findings, published in the Dec. 21 issue of the journal Neuron, offer clues to the root causes of dyslexia.

Other studies have found that people with dyslexia show differences in the brain’s structure and function.

“But it hasn’t been clear whether those differences are a cause or consequence of dyslexia,” Perrachione explained.

The chicken-and-egg question is tricky, because years of reading, or years of reading disability, affect brain development.

Perrachione said his team thinks it has discovered a cause of dyslexia — partly because the reduced adaptation was seen in young kids, and not only adults.

A researcher who was not involved in the study called it “groundbreaking.”

“Frankly, researchers have struggled with understanding the brain bases of dyslexia,” said Guinevere Eden, director of the Center for the Study of Learning at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Scientists have known that brain structure and function look different in people with dyslexia, Eden said, but they haven’t known why.

“This study makes an important step in that direction,” she said. “It gets to the true characteristics of the properties of the neurons [cells] in these brain regions, not just their outward appearance.”

People with dyslexia have consistent problems with language skills, especially reading.

According to the International Dyslexia Association, as much as 15 percent to 20 percent of the population has symptoms of dyslexia — including “slow” reading, poor spelling and writing skills, and problems deciphering words that are similar to each other.

The new study aimed to see whether “neural adaptation” might play a role.

Adaptation is how the brain improves its efficiency. Perrachione offered an example: When you speak to someone for the first time, the brain needs a little time to get used to that person’s voice, speaking rhythms and pronunciation of words, for instance.

But then the brain adapts and stops working so hard to process the other person’s speech.

In people with dyslexia, however, that adaptation seems to be hindered. “Their brains are working harder to process these sensory inputs,” Perrachione said.

The new findings are based on functional MRI scans of adults and children with and without dyslexia. The scans were used to capture the study participants’ brain activity as they performed a series of tasks.

In one experiment, the participants listened to a series of words, read either by a single speaker or several different ones. Overall, the researchers found, people without dyslexia adapted to the single voice, but not to multiple speakers.

In contrast, people with dyslexia showed much less adaptation in their brain activity, even when listening to a single speaker. The same pattern was seen when study participants viewed written words.

But the differences went beyond words: People with dyslexia showed less brain adaptation in response to images of faces and objects.

That’s “surprising,” Eden said, since the disorder does not involve apparent problems with recognizing faces or objects.

Perrachione speculated on a reason for the findings: The reduced brain adaptation may only “show up” when it comes to reading, because reading is such a complex skill.

The brain has no dedicated “reading” area. “Reading is a tool, or technology, that we’ve invented,” Perrachione pointed out.

Learning to use that technology requires a complex orchestration of different brain “domains,” he explained.

And yet, because everyone is expected to read, most people probably do not realize what an accomplishment it is, Perrachione said.

Eden agreed. “Learning to read is an astonishing feat and one that we often take for granted,” she said.

Will the new understanding of dyslexia lead to new therapies? It’s not clear, both Eden and Perrachione said.

Right now, dyslexia is managed with specialized reading instruction, starting as early as possible. That’s not going to change, Eden said.

But if scientists better understand what’s happening in the brain, Perrachione said, it might be possible to refine the reading therapies used for dyslexia.