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VERY TOUCHING!  think about your parents now!  Where are they in your heart?

PLEASE GIVE ALL YOUR LOVE TO YOUR PARENTS TILL THEY ARE GONE

The time is now
It is better to give them a little now than to give them the world when they are gone
The world is full of sons and daughters like you and me.

I had a marvelous mother, who loved me
Sacrificed for me and helped me in every way possible.

In all of my growing up from childhood through school and eventually marriage, my mother was always at my side
And when I needed help with my little ones, she was there for me.

A few years ago, we buried this wonderful woman.

Can you imagine how I felt when I returned home and found a poem in her drawer, written by my mom:

The time is now
If you are ever going to love
Love me now while I can know
The sweet and tender feelings
Which from true affection flow

Love me now while I am living
Do not wait until I am gone
And then have it chiseled in marble
Sweet words on ice-cold stone

If you have tender thoughts of me
Please let me know now

If you wait until I am sleeping
There will be death between us
And I will not hear you then

So if you love me, even a little bit
Let me know while I am living
So that I can treasure it

Your loving mum

Now she is gone and I am sick with guilt because I never told her what she meant to me.
Worse yet, I did not treat her as she deserved to be treated.

I found time for everyone and everything else
But I never made time for her.

It would have been easy to drop in for a cup of tea
And a hug but my friends came first.

Would any of them have done for me what my mother did?
I know the answer.

When I called mom on the phone
I was always in a hurry.

I feel ashamed when I think of the times I cut her off
The times I retorted back to her
The times I glared at her in an angry mood when she wanted to correct me and guide me through the correct path
I remember too, the times I could have included her in a trip out and did not.

My children loved Grandma from the times they were babies
They often turn to her for comfort and advice
She understood them
I realize now that I was too critical, too short-tempered, too stingy with praise
Grandma gave them unconditional love.

The world is filled with sons, daughters and a child like me
I hope they see themselves in this letter and realize from it.

If this has touched you, please pass it on to all the sons and Daughters who have to praise their mom for everything they are today.

Reflections

This story highlights that we must do whatever we can when our parents are alive to appreciate what we say or do, however little that may be.

Very often we are willing to spend thousands to give them a grand funeral with the most elaborate preparations and expensive coffins and so on. We are willing to have memorials without fail year after year. We give alms in memory of our late parents but we could not afford to spend some time with them when they were with us before their death.

We were too busy with our lives.

How much do we treasure our parents?

They may not be perfect but it is undeniable that they deserve more than what we are doing for them now.

We may be cruel to them or we may even be criminals but to our parents we are still good children and they continue to justify why we have become bad. They blame everybody else for their children being bad except them as they believe their children cannot have gone bad by themselves.

Nobody in the world does that. Many will flock to us when we are in a position to give but none when we are down and out. Our parents are the only ones who will be there with us and for us whether we are good or bad, up or down till their last breaths.

Let us search our hearts to see where we have placed our parents in it. If they are not in our hearts it is time to make a place for them there now. If they already there as in many of us, it is time to give them a little more.

Let us not do something or fail to do it that we will regret later as it will be too late.

(Author – unknown)

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There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, ‘You
have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. But It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound will still be there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Remember that friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us.’

(Source: Unknown. Received from a friend)

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STUDIES conducted in the United States have found that 50% to 60% of parents reported their children having feeding difficulties. A closer look at the studies revealed that only 25-35% of the children have real feeding difficulties.

For such parents, mealtimes are charged with anxiety or coercion, which often shows up in the way they feed the child, and the child responds by losing his appetite. The more the parent urges or tries to force the child into eating, the more the child will reject the idea of eating.

Hence, it is important for parents to realize that there are many other factors which can affect the child’s appetite, not just feeding difficulties.

Parental support is crucial for a child to develop healthy eating habits.

The Common Factors?

Oral-motor development – Effective eating depends greatly on your child’s readiness and adequacy in oral-motor skills such as sucking, licking, biting, and chewing. You need to be critically aware of this developmental milestone to avoid difficulties during feeding.

Fear of new foods – Also known as neophobia, this developmental stage of rejecting new or novel foods is common for children between the ages of two and three. If this is not managed well, the child may show further signs of distress and anxiety.

Environmental factors – Chaotic work schedules and cultural beliefs of eating are some of the environmental factors that can significantly influence the eating patterns of a child. For example, unpredictable mealtime schedules may create inconsistent eating habits.

Social development – The time when a child starts to assert his independence begins to peak between the ages of two and three to four years old, causing him to have more interest in other things other than food alone. As a result, your child may assert his independence by refusing to eat or insisting on eating only one type of food for days on end.

Unfortunately, many parents are often quick to point the blame at feeding difficulties the moment their children aren’t eating or do not meet the basic expectations of physical growth. This may affect how they react or behave during mealtimes. This can further compromise:

(1) The child’s eating behavior. When a child is forced to try a new food, anxiety may heighten, causing him to remember the uncomfortable experience the next time he is offered the same food. This occurs because the child has associated eating with feelings of distress.

(2) Parent and child relationship. The relationship between the parent and the child can significantly be affected when both go into a nerve-wrecking tug-of-war during stressful mealtimes. Studies have consistently shown that the stronger the parent-child bond, the more likely a child will show interest in eating.

(3) Growth and development. If eating problems persist as a result of coercive feeding techniques, a child’s potential to grow and develop into a healthy and well-rounded individual is compromised.

(4) Nutritional imbalance. The child may be deprived of certain nutrients that are vital to his growth. In rare cases, if the child suffers a lack of certain important nutrients, it may be more difficult for him to fight certain illnesses or disease.

To prevent all these from happening, the cycle of parental pressure during mealtimes should be broken. Instead of feeling anxious, which could result in forceful feeding techniques, you should:

(1) Say goodbye to anxiety! If you are impatient and nervous during a feed, your child may also feel anxious and withdrawn. To avoid anxiety during mealtimes, you can try starting a conversation with your little one by discussing the taste, texture, and smell of the food.

(2) Create a supportive and nurturing environment. A comfortable setting is one where the child feels respected, nurtured, and trusted, allowing him to explore and learn new eating skills without fear of coercion or punishment. This will help your child and you relax and eat better.

(3) Have a little patience. The key to introducing new foods is being a little bit more patient than you normally are. You should also give your child adequate exposure to new foods, and make sure that it is given systematically and gradually so that your child may get used to it.

(4) Never discuss your child’s eating habits during the meal. You should not focus on your child’s eating problems during family mealtimes.

(5) Take control, but be flexible.
As a caring parent, your ultimate goal is to make sure that your child enjoys his food without having to deal with unnecessary stress or anxiety. This is possible when you are relaxed and calm at all times!

(Source: The Sunday Star, August 9, 2009-http://thestar.com.my/health. By Associate Professor Dr Thomas Linscheid)

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Over the years, the Parents have been highlighted on the dangers of fat, but rarely its benefits. Hence, the misconception and common belief that “Fat is bad, so stay away!” The fact, however, is that fats are an important component in our diet, more so in our children’s diet.

Why is FAT Important In Your Child’s Diet?

Fats have many functions in the body, and these include:

(1) Important for providing energy and maintaining body temperature.
(2) Insulates and acts as a shock absorber for bones and organs.
(3) Helps the body absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
(4) Is a structural component of myelin, the fatty insulating sheath surrounding each nerve fibre, enabling it to carry messages faster.

Fat deficiency is rarely seen in our society. However, the dangers of not giving your child fats can be severe, resulting in weight loss, dryness of the skin, atopic eczema and others.

What Are The Types Of Fat?

In general, there are two types of fats: the good fats and the harmful fats. It is crucial that you understand the roles of these fats and how they may benefit or harm your child’s wellbeing.

Good fats are categorised into two basic groups: polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) and monounsaturated fats (MUFAs).

Polyunsaturated fats: The two types of PUFAs are omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. These fats are crucial to help your child in areas such as:

(1) Better quality cell membrane – Every cell in the human body is held together by a thin membrane that is composed of fats, primarily the essential fats. These essential fats contribute to a better quality cell membrane, which allows nutrients and oxygen to get into cells more easily, and helps carbon dioxide and other waste products leave the cells efficiently. Because the composition of fats in this membrane is determined by the composition of the fats that your child eats, it is vital that you keep an eye on the amount and the type of fats your child consumes.

(2) Supports brain development – The brain has almost 20 billion cells that are in a state of non-stop action, which enables us to think, make connections, solve problems and other such activities.

It has been found that nearly 60% of the brain is made up of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPs) such as arachidonic acid (AA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). A study on the relationship of intellectual function and the intake of essential fatty acids in the University of Dundee, Scotland, showed that children who are fed with DHA, an omega-3 essential fatty acid, had better problem-solving skills than those who didn’t.

(3) Reduces inflammatory reactions – Essential fats are processed by the body into eicosanoids. These are special molecules that act as messengers in the central nervous system and are involved in many bodily processes. According to the European Heart Journal, the quantity of essential fats such as omega-3 and omega-6 in the diet can affect inflammatory processes in the body and work to stop inflammation as these fats are generally anti-inflammatory.

(4) Smoother hair and skin – The essential fats can also give your child healthy hair and skin because they help build soft flexible cell walls, resulting in smoother hair and skin. The cells in our bodies use these good fats to regenerate and build new tissues.

Monounsaturated fats – Monounsaturated fatty acids are largely neutral. You may include these fats in your child’s diet. However, do take note that excessive or extreme intake of these fats should be avoided.

Harmful fats can generally be divided into saturated fats and trans fats.

(1) Saturated fats – Saturated fats are mostly found in food from animal sources, such as meat, dairy products and eggs. Children, in particular, need some of this fat in their daily diet, partly for use as energy, and partly to be incorporated into their bodies as they grow. However, technically, this fat is not essential in the diet because the body can manufacture what it needs from the essential fats, but it shouldn’t be avoided altogether.

(2) Trans fats – These fats are harmful fats. They rarely occur in natural foods, and when they do, they are relatively harmless and the amounts are small. Trans fats are created when food is fried, especially when deep-fried, and often in the processing of food. The ideal amount of trans fats in your child’s diet is zero.

Fat Watch

Knowing that there are two types of fats – the good fats and the harmful fats, it is important that you watch your child’s fat intake. Do ensure your little one gets a variety of the good fats in adequate amounts. Keep in mind also that too much fat will lead to obesity and health problems. Focus on reducing foods high in saturated fats and trans fats and select more foods containing unsaturated fats.

For the type of food which are good fats and harmful facts, please visit the link:
http://thestar.com.my/health/story.asp?file=/2009/6/7/health/4041506&sec=health.

(Source: thestar.com.my/health, June 7, 2009)

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Adults who witnessed parental violence while growing up are more likely to suffer mental health problems, according to researchers who studied 3,023 adults in Paris.

The study looked at the participants’ current depression, as well as their experiences with violence against children, intimate partner violence, lifetime suicide attempts and alcohol dependence. The participants were also asked about childhood experiences with their parents, and 16 percent said they’d witnessed violence between their parents, according to the report published online recently in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The researchers, Christelle Roustit of INSERM in Paris and colleagues, found that violence between parents was far more common in certain circumstances. It was up to eight times more likely among parents who were alcoholics, and also more common in families with financial problems, housing problems, unemployment or when parents had serious diseases, they reported.

After they adjusted for other factors, the researchers concluded that people who’d been exposed to interparental violence were 1.4 times more likely to have depression, more than three times more likely to be involved in intimate partner violence, almost five times more likely to mistreat their children, and 1.75 times more likely to have alcohol dependence.

“Intensification of prevention of and screening for domestic violence, including interparental violence, is a public health issue for the well-being of future generations,” Roustit and colleagues concluded.

(Source: HealthDay, June 4, 2009)

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“God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers.”
– Jewish Proverb —

“Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother.”
– Lin Yutang –

“The heart of a mother is a deep abyss,
at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.”
– Honore’ de Balzac – (1799-1850)~

“The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom.”
– Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) –

“Youth fades; love droops, the leaves of friendship fall;
A mother’s secret hope outlives them all.”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) –

“The joys of motherhood are never fully experienced
until the children are in bed.”
– Author Unknown –

If mom’s still around, please pick up the phone to say, “I love you, mom”

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Unfortunately, between working as many hours as you do, and all the other responsibilities that fill your days and nights, you may feel like you’re not really connecting with your kids. While this certainly feels discouraging, “fixing” the problem doesn’t have to take up hours of your already-limited free time. Here are some practical tips to connect with kids of all ages in just 15 minutes per day:

(1) Play Together
Reconnect with your kids simply by playing with them. If your kids are fairly young, get down on the floor together and work a puzzle or play a board game. If you have older kids, play their favorite video game together. This is a great way to supervise the content of their video games while also spending time together and giving yourselves a healthy dose of togetherness.

(2) Listen to Music Together
This is another great way for moms and dads to connect with kids of all ages. If you have toddlers or preschool children, dance around the living room together to their favorite songs. If you have older children or teens, take some time to find out what music they’re into and why they enjoy it. Since we’re often drawn to music that speaks to our own emotions and circumstances, sharing music with your kids is a great way to learn more about where they’re at and what they’re really going through.

(3) Create Your Own Spa at Home
Bath time is a regular, built-in opportunity for parents and kids to share some laughter and fun! As your children get older, though, they’ll be able to shower on their own and won’t need as much supervision in the bathroom. But that doesn’t mean this unique opportunity to reconnect will just disappear! If you have tweens or teenagers, take the time to do your nails together or have your own “spa day” at home. This can be a wonderful tool in opening up the doors of communication with your kids.

(4) Cook and Eat Together
Dinner time offers another important way for parents to connect with their kids. Even during the busiest seasons, see if you can’t find at least three nights a week to include your children in the effort to make dinner, from start to finish, and eat it together around the kitchen table. During this time, turn off the TV and any other distractions, so that you can really sit down and talk while you eat. You’d be amazed at what a difference this one little habit will make.

(5) Bedtime
The bedtime routine is another great way to regularly connect with your kids. More than just a “bedtime story,” your routine can include prayer time (which is a great way to find out what’s going on in your child’s world), sharing the day’s “highs” and “lows,” and the opportunity to ask questions or simply cuddle with one another. Keep in mind, too, that the bedtime routine doesn’t disappear once your kids are old enough to tuck themselves in. Look for ways to adjust your routine, and yet still connect, as your kids get older.

These strategies are just a few ways to connect with kids in and through the busyness of life. Be creative and look for ways to acknowledge your kids and reconnect with them in some small way each and every day.

(Source: visit: http://singleparents.about.com/od/communication/tp/connect_with_kids.htm)

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