Category Archives: Uncategorized

Au Pair`s Personal Safety

woman-being-stalked

We do NOT want to scare you, but we would like you to realize that Ireland could be just as dangerous as any other country around the world. And because we would like you to have a nice experience during your stay in Ireland, we are publishing some useful tips and safety information that will help you stay safe.

As we said – these tips are not intended to scare you, but to make you aware of some simple things you can do to prevent being the victim of attack or any other type of crime.

On the Street

Awareness is your first line of defense! Most people think of kicks to the groin and blocking punches when they hear the term “self-defense.” However, true self-defense begins long before any actual physical contact.
The first, and probably most important, component in self-defense is awareness: awareness of yourself, your surroundings, and your potential attacker’s likely strategies. The criminal’s primary strategy is to use the advantage of surprise. Studies have shown that criminals are adept at choosing targets that appear to be unaware of what is going on around them. By being aware of your surroundings and by projecting a “force presence,” many altercations which are commonplace on the street can be avoided.

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* pay attention to what is going on around you and be aware of people near you.
* don’t hitchhike (means getting a ride with strangers.)
* be very careful using outside ATMs at night or in unfamiliar surroundings.
* when walking, face the oncoming traffic. It will be harder for someone to pull you into a car and abduct you. You can also see cars coming in your lane.
* tell someone where you’ll be and what time you’re supposed to return, or if you will be with someone you don’t know well.
* don’t overload yourself with packages. If you must have your hands full, visualize how you would respond if approached, how you would get your hands free, etc.
* don’t wear music headphones while walking or jogging.
* don’t read while walking or standing on the street.
* if you wear a purse with a shoulder strap, be prepared to let it go if snatched. Otherwise you may be hurt if the mugger knocks you down and drags you while fleeing with your purse.

General Safety Tips

Use your “Sixth sense”, “Gut instinct” or whatever you call it! Your intuition is a powerful subconscious insight into situations and people. All of us, especially women, have this gift, but very few of us pay attention to it. Learn to trust this power and use it to your full advantage. Avoid a person or a situation which does not “feel” safe–you’re probably right.

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* listen to and act on your intuition. It’s better to be safe and risk a little embarrassment, than stay in an uncomfortable situation that may be unsafe.
* if you are in danger or being attacked and want to get help, call 999 (Garda – Irish POLICE). If you have bad feeling you can always ask someone to walk you to the first store, where you can wait and get sure someone is following you
* have your keys ready when approaching your car or building. It will help you get in faster.
* vary your routine: drive or walk different routes every day. If you suspect that someone is following you, by foot or in a car, don’t go home (or they will know where you live). Go to a trusted neighbor or to a public place to call garda, or go directly to the garda station.
* do not label keys with your name or any identification.
* don’t talk about your social life or vacation plans where strangers can overhear you.
* carry your cell phone with you at all times.

Nights Out

It is important that you are aware that people have been known to put drugs into women’s drinks at bars and at parties – all around the world, not only in Ireland! Please read these tips, to avoid becoming a victim.

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* use the buddy system. Do not go out alone and don’t leave your friends.
* get your own drink – don’t take it from complete stranger.
* watch your drink being poured and do not leave it unattended.
* don’t drink from a large open container, like a punch bowl.
* don’t drink anything that has an unusual taste, especially a salty taste.
* don’t share drinks.
* don’t leave a party with someone you just met. If you do, tell your friends where are you going and who are you going with.
* warn others about high-risk situations.

Facts…

Escape is always your best option. What if the unthinkable happens? You are
suddenly confronted by a predator who demands that you go with him in a car, or
into an alley, or a building. It would seem prudent to obey, but you must
never leave the primary crime scene.
You are far more likely to be attacked
or seriously injured if you go with the predator than if you run away (even if
he promises not to hurt you). Run away, yell for help, throw a rock through a
store or car window – do whatever you can to attract attention. And if the
criminal is after your purse or other material items, throw them away while you
run.
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It’s your right to fight! Unfortunately, no matter how diligently you practice awareness and avoidance techniques, you may find yourself in a physical confrontation. Whether or not you have self-defense training, and no matter what your age or physical condition, it is important to understand that you CAN and SHOULD defend yourself physically. You have both the moral and legal right to do so, even if the attacker is only threatening you and hasn’t struck first. Many women worry that they will anger the attacker and get hurt worse if they defend themselves, but statistics clearly show that your odds of survival are far greater if you do fight back. Aim for the eyes first and the groin second! Remember, though, to use the element of surprise to your advantage–strike quickly and strong as you can – you may only get one chance!

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Pepper spray like other self-defense aids, can be a useful tool. However, it is important to understand that there can be significant drawbacks to its use. For example, did you know that it doesn’t work on everyone? Surprisingly, 15-20% of people will not be incapacitated even by a full-face spray. Also, if you’re carrying it in your purse, you will only waste time and alert the attackers to your intention while you fumble for it. You also need to be careful not to spray yourself, which is not so hard when you are nervous or in case of a strong wind! Never depend on any self-defense tool or weapon to stop an attacker. Trust your body and your wits, which you can always depend on in the event of an attack.

Things You Should Consider When Choosing a Name For Your Newborn

Choosing a name for your newborn is very difficult and responsible thing. Finding the right name that both parents and child will like, it’s a big project that can last all nine months or even more. It is definitely one of the most important decisions that partners have to take during pregnancy. It’s true that some mommies have their names chosen for years, but on the other hands, some parents don’t have the right name even some days after birth.

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Will the name be traditional, original, modern, after grandmother/grandfather, will newborn have one or two names….the decision is (should be) only yours. We decided to write down some tips that may help you in this “mission impossible”.

…For life (probably)…

Keep in mind that the name you choose, will probably stick with your child for life. Name is also the first present your child will receive from you, that’s why you have to make sure it will be special and chosen carefully.
If there are more names you have in mind, you should make a list. First both partners should write down some names that they like and are important to them. Then go through list together and maybe you will find a name that you both like.
Once you find it, try to repeatedly pronounce it, add the last name, say it out loud, then whisper it…perhaps you will find it even more adorable, or you won’t like it anymore.
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Keep in mind that your child can have problems with long names, especially if you already have a long last name. Often, longer first names work better with shorter last names, and vice versa. 
Try to avoid first names that rhyme with your last name. And please resist puns – a name like “Holly Molly” will be cute for about five minutes, then your poor child will be stuck with it for the rest of his or her life.
An unusual name has the advantage of making the bearer stand out from the crowd, but on the other hand, a name no one has heard of and few can pronounce can bring attention a child would rather avoid!

…Think about it first…

When choosing name you should think about what kind of names you like, while name usually says more about you than it does about your child. A name communicates a wealth of social information, including the parents’ tastes and background. It also tells a lot about your dreams and ambitions for your child.
Cute Baby Boy

So think about what kind of names you like; are these old traditional and almost
forgotten names, new modern and usually short names, but also think about your child! Choosing name that will reflect your religious affiliation, for example Maria Magdalena, it’s a nice confirmation of your religious beliefs, but you have to ask yourself if your daughter will like it as well, once she is older.

…More than one name…

If you decide to give your child more than one name, it’s important to decide, whether you will call your child after just one name or both. It is also important not to confuse your child, so both parents should call child by the same name. But usually children with two names decide by themselves how they want to be called (by their friends, teachers,…).

…Having twins?…

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That’s makes it even harder, right? Twins are babies that were born at the same time, but that doesn’t mean that parents have to experience them as one! It is recommendable to name them as different as you can. If you have boy and girl, that shouldn’t be so difficult. But if they are both of the same sex, you have to think really hard. If they are very similar in appearance and have nearly the same name, people will find it very difficult to distinguish them. This may also hinder their desire for an independent personality.

There is no simple tip that will help you decide and choose the right name, but keep in mind that the most important criterion when you are choosing a name is simply that you and your partner like it and try not to be by the influence of members of your families while choosing it!
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The most popular Irish baby names in 2012

The Top 10 names for girls:                                   The Top 10 names for boys:
1. Emily                                                                      1. Jack
2. Sophie                                                                    2. James
3.Emma                                                                     3. Sean
4. Katie                                                                       4. Daniel
5. Lily                                                                          5. Conor
6. Sarah                                                                      6. Ryan
7. Lucy                                                                        7. Adam
8. Ava                                                                         8. Harry
9. Chole                                                                      9. Michael
10. Aoife                                                                     10. Alex
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If you don’t like any of these popular names, you can consider this ancient Irish tradition:

For Boys

Oldest son named after the father’s father
Second son named after the mother’s father
Third son named after the father
Fourth son named after the father’s oldest brother

For Girls

Oldest daughter named after the mother’s mother
Second daughter named after the father’s mother
Third daughter named after the mother
Fourth daughter named after the mother’s oldest sister

May 2013 – Events for mothers, children and families…

This year`s May will not only be the month of sunny weather, but it will also be the month of many interesting events for you and your family. Some events are meant specifically for mothers, some specifically for children, but most of them can be attended by the entire family.

-Easy Origami for ages 8 – 12 years-

Date: 12 May 2013 at 14:00 – 15:00
Venue: National Print Museum
Address: Beggars Bush Barracks, Haddington Rd, Dublin 4, Co. Dublin
Tel: 01 6603770
Email: education@nationalprintmuseum.ie
Web: www.nationalprintmuseum.ie 
Origami
Join
for a free drop-in Easy Origami session suitable for children aged 8-12 years.
Children will handcraft a variety of fun pieces which they can then decorate!

-Ante-Natal Yoga-

Date: 13 May 2013 at 20:00
until 24 June 2013 – 21:15
Venue: Yogazone studio, Carrigaline
Address: Heronswood, Carrigaline,
Cork, Co. Cork
Tel: 087 9694378
Email: info@yogazone.ie
Web: www.yogazone.ie
yoga

Ante-Natal Yoga classes for women over 14 weeks pregnant. Classes in a fully equipped yoga studio incorporating aspects of stretch, strengthening, restorative and breathing exercises. Course is 6 weeks, cost 75 euro.

-Dublin Dance Festival 2013-

Date:  14 May 2013 until 26 May 2013
Venue:
see programme (web site) for venues,
Address: 
see programme (web site) for
venues, Co. Dublin
Tel:  1 6728815
Web:
www.dublindancefestival.ie
dublin dance festival

Dublin Dance Festival is delighted to announce a gorgeous, cheeky and adventurous family season taking place in venues across the city during the festival 14-26 May.

-Positive Parenting, Positive Support – How To Approach Parenting and Parental Stress in a Positive Way?-

Date: 18. May 2013 at 9:00 – 13:00
Venue: Stillorgan Park Hotel
Address: Stillorgan, Dublin 18, Co.
Dublin
Tel: 0866091048
Email: cuidiuconference2013@gmail.com
Web: www.cuidiuconference2013.eventbrite.ie
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Cuidiú, the parent to parent voluntary group, announced that the theme of their public Annual Conference will be ‘Positive Parenting, Positive Support – How To Approach Parenting and Parental Stress in a Positive Way. The Cuidiú presentations will give parents lots of ideas on positive things they can do to successfully deal with a range of difficult behaviour and issues that affect their children and families, as well as information about the support structures that Cuidiú offers in communities all over the country.

-Paediatric First Aid Course Kildare-

Date: 18. May 2013 at 09:30 – 13:30
Venue: Naas GAA Club
Address: Naas GAA Club, Naas, Co. Kildare
Tel: 085-8393441
Email: info@earlyyearsfirstaid.ie
Web: www.earlyyearsfirstaid.ie
paediatric-first-aid-training1

First aid course for parents, minders and child care workers of children aged 0-12yrs. Course covers CPR, choking, wounds, breaks, burns, temp. control, childhood illnesses and medical emergencies. Lots of practical training with vital information. Cost €50 per person covers the course and includes a first aid manual, certificate valid for 2 years, but more importantly the confidence and knowledge to know what to do in an emergency or for minor everyday injuries.

-Healing with Art – Guided Meditations and Art-

Date: 18. May 2013 at 10:30 – 16:00
Venue: Sandyford Wellness Centre
Address: Sandyford Wellness Centre,
near/opposite to Sandyord Luas Stop, Dublin 18, Co. Dublin
Tel: 0868502689
Email: info@experiencehealing.ie
Web: www.experiencehealing.ie
healing with art

Healing with Art’s workshop is designed with passion to explore the creative side of your personality. We are all so busy with our life and sometimes we just don’t have time for our inner passions and small cheerful hobbies. That’s why the motivation behind this workshop is to get you connected back with those inner passions. All the materials will be provided including Canvas and Acrylic paints and Brushes. It costs only €40. For more information visit web site.

-National Drawing Day at the National Print Museum-

Date: 18. May 2013 at 14:00 – 17:00
Venue: National Print Museum
Address: Beggars Bush Barracks, Haddington Rd, Dublin 4, Co. Dublin
Tel: 016603770
Email: education@nationalprintmuseum.ie
Web: www.nationalprintmuseum.ie
Drawing_Day
An exciting range of self-guided and fun drawing
materials and exercises will be provided for all families who visit Education
Area to celebrate National Drawing Day. Free Admission!

-Family Day 2013-

Date: 19. May 2013 at 11:00 – 17:00
Venue: Iveagh Gardens, Dublin 2
Address: One Family, 2 Lower Pembroke Street, Co. Dublin
Tel: 01 6629212
Email: info@onefamily.ie
Web: www.familyday.ie
Family-Day-Logo-at-15_01_2013-1

Family Day fills the beautiful Iveagh Gardens with song, dance, music, magic, arts and crafts workshops, sports, storytelling, face painting, games and free festivities for children of all ages. A complementary pampering area for grown-ups provides a relaxation haven, while a food village offers flavours from around the globe.

-All About Baby Fair 2013-

Date: 19 May 2013 at 12:00 – 16:00
Venue: Plaza Hotel Tallaght
Address: Tallaght, Co. Dublin
Tel: 087 77992144
Email: enquiries@friendsofbreastfeeding.ie
Web: www.friendsofbreastfeeding.ie
2013
Have
you ever wished there was somewhere you could go to buy, try and test all the
products and services you need for you and your baby? Now there is! All about
Baby Fair offers amazing shopping, expert advice, professional services,
entertainment and a guaranteed fun filled day out for all the family. All are
welcome to come along to this fantastic event and have a great day. Admission
is €5 for adults and kids go Free!

-Paediatric First Aid Course Kikenny-

Date: 25. May 2013 at 09:30 – 13:30
Venue: Spring Hill Court Hotel
Address: Kilkenny City, Co. Kilkenny
Tel: 085 – 8393441
Email: info@earlyyearsfirstaid.ie
Web: www.earlyyearsfirstaid.ie
one_day_paediatric_first_aid_training_course
First
aid course for parents, minders and child care workers of children aged
0-12yrs. Course covers CPR, choking, wounds, breaks, burns, temp. control,
childhood illnesses and medical emergencies. Lots of practical training with
vital information. Cost €50 per person covers the course and includes a first
aid manual, certificate valid for 2 years but more importantly the confidence
and knowledge to know what to do in an emergency or for minor everyday
injuries.

-THE JUST 4 KIDS SHOW-

Date: 25. May 2013 at 10:00 to 20:00 and 26. May 2013 at 10:00 to 18:00
Venue: RDS Simmonscourt
Address: Ballsbridge, Co. Dublin
Tel: 021 4634549
Email: info@just4kidsshow.ie
Web: www.just4kidsshow.ie

70a7310a76c468324a4c4bc0bb67abeeEverything possible for kids aged 4 to 14 years…and their parents too! Let’s get loose in the Let’s Go! Fun Zone, head to the Seminar Zone to attend a talk from one of well-known experts, get involved in the Workshop Zone, chill in the Library Zone or explore and experiment in the Tech & Science Zone. You’ll find inspiration for family friendly holidays, activities, sports, culture, learning, play and much more.

-Learn Reiki While Pregnant or after birth-

Date: 25 May 2013 at 10:00 until 26 May 2013 – 16:30
Venue: Sandyford Wellness Centre
Address: Sandyford Wellness Centre, near/opposite to Sandyord Luas Stop, Dublin 18, Co. Dublin
Tel: 0868502689
Email: info@experiencehealing.ie
Web: www.experiencehealing.ie
preganancy reiki

Reiki Level I training is geared towards personal health. It provides all
the knowledge required for self-treatments and for delivering therapy to
friends, family. It teaches you how to heal yourself and others with the Reiki
energy on the physical level. It also enhances your own self-confidence,
self-worth, personal development and health strongly. No Prerequisites for this
course. All are welcome. Workshop numbers are limited to maintain a high
student teacher interface. A deposit of €50 secures a place on the course. The
balance paid on the day of the course. For
more information and booking please phone or mail Sri Manju, Reiki Master.

-Tools for Tots ™
Workshop-

Date: 29. May 2013 at 09:00 – 17:00
Venue: The Carlton Hotel Dublin Airport
Address: The Carlton Hotel, Old Airport Rd, Cloughran, Co. Dublin
Tel: 045 520900
Email: info@sensationalkids.ie
Web: www.sensationalkids.ie
Kids%20express006

This workshop is designed to offer practical sensory strategies to improve the ability of toddlers and young children to play and function in their various daily environments. A variety of sensory activities and environmental strategies will be highlighted using hands-on participation and videos of typical tots and those with challenges including engagement.
Topics will include everyday issues related to waking up, picky eating, teeth brushing, getting dressed, potty time, hair washing, finger nail cutting, bath time, bed time, and more. Participants will also learn strategies to help Touchy Tots, Sensitive Ears, Busy Bees, Fumbling Tots, Tippy Toe Tots, Cautious Tots and Spirited Tots.

-Tools for Teens and Pre Teens   Workshop-

Date: 30. May 2013 at 09:00 – 17:00
Venue: The Carlton Hotel Dublin Airport
Address: The Carlton Hotel, Old Airport Rd, Cloughran, Co. Dublin
Tel: 045 520900
Email: info@sensationalkids.ie
Web: www.sensationalkids.ie
Kids%20express001

Workshop attendees will have the opportunity to experience and learn about alternative sensory ‘tools’ to assist teens to participate in healthy age appropriate activities. All participants will actively participate in many, fun movement, balance and motor activities using music, chair balls, and exercise bands. Learn how to juggle and how it benefits the brain.

 


Benefits of having an Au Pair

Ever conssider having an Au Pair? Having an Au Pair can be very beneficial way to provide care for your children and offer certain advantages over other childcare options. 1057-460-AuPair

In paragraphs bellow we want to show you what benefits your family will gain by hiring an foreign Au Pair. We will also show you that having an Au Pair is much more budget friendly than most other childcare options.

  • Having an Au Pair gives you a flexible schedule. Unlike most childcare options that require families to adhere to stringent schedules and hours, the Au Pair program offers a flexible schedule set by the host family, based on individual needs and requirements. Although an Au Pair can legally work only  30-35 (or 20-25 for demi aupair) hours per week  (they require 1 full free day or two half free days at the weekend, and 2 full days in a week), you can divide these hours up in a way that works best for your family and for the Au Pair. If you have school-age children, for example, you can divide your au pair’s hours up between the morning hours and the after school hours.
  • Au Pair childcare is unquestionably one of the best options for broadening your child’s horizon and ability to learn and understand new languages. Research indicates that learning another language has educational benefits far beyond being able to speak the language! So because Au Pairs are foreign nationals, your children (and you as well) have a great opportunity to learn about people from another part of the world, about their custom, food,…
  • Having an Au Pair allows your children to be cared for in familiar and comfortable surroundings, so they don’t have to spend their time in a day care environment, away from your home. In-home childcare is recommended by pediatricians as the healthiest childcare option.
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  • Having an Au Pair gives you more control over child care activities than many other options. While Au Pair is working only for you, you don’t have to worry about her being distracted by other children. She can implement your parenting philosophy and instructions as you want her to. Children thrive as a result of the full attention offered by our Au Pairs, who can serve as an extension of the family and enjoy focusing on your child’s personal learning and growth.
  • Hiring an Au Pair allows you to do something to help a young person. Because the Au Pair program has an educational component, you will in part be responsible for helping your Au Pair to become more educated and help her improve her English. It also allows you to expose an Au Pair to Irish culture and to your way of life.
  • An Au Pair can also help with childcare related chores such as laundry, cleaning preparing meals and snack and that can take a great deal of time for parents. And while heavy domestic work is generally prohibited, she may be able to offer an extra pair of hands around the home for daily needs.
    AuPairMusic
  • And definitely can`t forget on sense of security and company! Having an additional adult person in your home provides extra support while Au Pair offer adult company and consistent assistance – especially handy for families with single parents or busy spouse travel schedules.

Expensive Irish Childcare

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It`s no secret that Irish childcare is among the most expensive in Europe. The report made in 2012 finds that, for a dual earner family earning 167% of the average wage, Ireland has the highest child care costs, once childcare benefits, rebates, tax benefits and other benefits are taken into account. If reckoned as a percentage of net family income, Ireland is third highest (29%), after the UK and Switzerland! (http://factsaresacred.ie/memes/irish-childcare-is-it-the-most-expensive-in-europe/)

Another reserch of childcare providers all over Ireland in 2011 found, that the price of childcare can vary quite a lot from county to county. The average cost of childcare for three full days a week for a six month old was €126 per week. Prices varied from a high of €190 a week  in Dublin 6  to a low of €85  in the Waterford area. Even within the same area there was big variations in pricing – Dublin 6  showed a difference of €70 a week between the lowest and highest price. Comparing the cost of childcare for five days a week for a 28 month old child: the overall average price across the country for full time five days a week childcare  was €181 per week.
The highest price was €248 in Dublin city centre (almost €1000 per month) . The lowest price for full time childcare was €130 in Dundalk.
(http://ireland-living.blogspot.ie/2012/05/cost-of-childcare-in-ireland.html)

Taking into account the upper facts and adding the fact that hiring an Au Pair costs around €180 (€90.00 per month for duration of stay of Au Pair + min. of €85 for an Au Pair) for 35 hours a week, makes it obvious that having an Au Pair is a much better and cheaper choice. Especially if you have two or more children (you pay Au Pair the same and not per child). For more details and other questions just click on this link and find out more about Au Pairs in Ireland: http://www.carainternational.net/?cID=154&pID=76

EARTH DAY

On this day, April 22nd, countries all over the world celebrate the »Earth Day«. So today we will tell you how you can include your children in this important day, so they will grow up with awareness of importance of caring for our planet.

earth-day-kids

On 22nd of April, 1970, American Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day, to make people aware of the importance of keeping our planet as healthy and clean as we can. On this day, we should all make a commitment to help the environment and make positive changes in our community. Since 1970, more than 500 million people in more than 180 countries have participated in Earth Day activities.

Teach your children

Keep in mind, that everything you do on this day to help the planet counts! So if you are not able to do participate in any “Earth Day activities”, you should at least explain your children what Earth Day is all about!
earth-day-images-kids_1365967201
Our children are the future, and the fate of this planet is not only in our hands, but in theirs as well. Once we’ve used up and destroyed the resources of our Earth, there’s no turning back. Teaching kids the message of Earth Day is the legacy we leave not only for them, but for all mankind. The most important thing for kids to know is that Earth Day is not one day of celebrating by creating less garbage, but instead a reminder of what we should be doing all year long. As adults, it’s our job to teach them this. Believe it or not, once we have their attention, kids do listen and learn from us!

Be an example

First and foremost, kids learn through example. This means they need not only to learn about, but also see how it works in practice. So they should see how protecting and preserving the Earth is important to us, not just by our words, but by our actions as well!
earth-day-kids

Things you can do on Earth Day

In paragraphs below are some activities you can do on this special day and also some easy ways you can teach kids the significance of Earth Day and saving our planet through our own actions:

One of the best ways to take care of the Earth is to lessen our impact on it. Producing energy to make electricity creates pollution. You should explain this to your children and tell them they can help reduce pollution and their impact on the Earth by reducing the amount of energy they use.

  •       one way they can reduce the amount of energy is to turn off the lights when they leave a room.  You can make a simple door hanger that will remind them to turn the lights off.
    lights-out-eco-friendly-craft-for-kids
  • you can encourage them not to waste so much water when cleaning hands.
  • we can do a lot, by encourage them to walk whenever possible. So instead of using car (for going to school, market, a Sunday trip, …), you can simply walk or use a bicycle. And we don’t have to mention this is a good way to take care of their health and not only for Earth.family
  • it’s important to teach them about recycling and the importance of separating trash. You can sit down and explain which trash goes in one trash can and which in other. You can turn it into a funny game of “Guess where to put it”…
    Family Recycling

You can also use this day to do some family activities as well. Probably there are some volunteer opportunities in your community you can join today. Family volunteer projects create valuable bonding time and, at the same time, teach children about environmental concerns.

  •  you can clean up the litter in your area. The goal of this activity is simply to collect as much trash in your neighborhood (or places around) as you can. Make sure that if you are close to a road or highway your children are far back, well supervised and wearing bright clothing. Sometimes neighborhood parks, school grounds and such places are safer places for litter cleanup than a busy highway.
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  •  if you have opportunity, you can start your own garden. This is probably the best activity to help children appreciate the world and the cycles of nature. You can also plant a tree to beautify your neighborhood and to start a new life on Earth.

    Growing-a-Garden-with-Your-Children-MainPhoto

  • you and your family can donate some time at the local recycle center. This would be a good experience for your children and they will definitely find out more interesting things about recycling.
    Family Recycling
  • you can use some of the trash and turn them into a useful products. For example; from plastic milk bottle you can make a box for used batteries or a piggy bank.
    milk_jug_piggy_bank

    As we mentioned before, it is important not only do these things, but also talk about why these Earth-saving practices are important. Children will follow in your footsteps once you teach them how to give it back to Mother Earth – after all, children are our (and her) future!


HOW TO FIGHT WITH OBESITY IN CHILDREN

It is estimated that there are currently around 300,000 children in Ireland, that are either overweight or obese and worryingly our obesity rates don’t appear to be slowing down. Although government initiatives and constant media coverage are increasing public awareness of this problem, the issue does not appear to be resolving.
fatkidwrestler

First of all we need to understand what obesity is and the health implications of it. Everyone should be aware that many of the health risks associated with being overweight or obese are not actually visible; for example – too much fat in the blood and diabetes.
Secondly, all parents needs to be more aware of their own child’s weight and what exactly an overweight child looks like; one alarming statistic showed that1/3 of parents of obese teenagers think their teenager’s weight is “fine”; and 3/4 of parents of overweight teenagers think their teenager’s weight is fine!
childhood obesity
Different researches show that children who are obese between six months and five years of age have a 25% chance of becoming obese adults. If child is obese when he is over six this increases to 50% and obese adolescents are 80% more likely to become obese adults.
Obesity accounts for around 5% of heart attacks and stroke, 10% of osteoarthritis, 20% of hypertension, 30% of cancers and 80% of type 2 diabetes!

We can do a lot by just eating healthier!

Making the focus about healthier eating habits instead of just about weight loss makes it easier for the family as a whole to put changes into action.  Diets are too often high in sugar, salt and fatty foods and low in essential vitamins and minerals and the intake of these types of foods displaces good nutritious foods. The National Children’s Food Survey highlighted that Irish kids are getting the balance wrong. Many of Irish kids aged between 5 and 12 years have inadequate intakes of calcium, iron and vitamins A and D. On the other hand, an estimated 25.5% of their calorie intake is supplied by biscuits, cakes, confectionary, sugars, fats and desserts every day!

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In paragraphs below we would like to give you some simple guidelines that can help families start making positive changes in their eating habits, without getting feeling they have to change their entire lifestyles.

Eat more fibres

Around 4/5 of Irish teens is not meeting the recommended fibre intakes. Fibre rich foods provide the essential dietary fibre that we need for better bowel health but also high fibre foods tend to have low glycemic index (GI) which means they provide a slow release of energy. Basing a diet around low GI high fibre foods can help promote nutritional balance whilst promoting satiety and therefore encouraging less snacking. Try to cut out white bread (has very little nutritional value) and refined cereals and start choosing high fibre options for the whole family. This will increase fibre in the diet and promote the intake of slow release energy foods at mealtimes.

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 Color your meals with fruit and vegetables

Try to ensure diversity of colors on your plates at every meal in the form of some fruit and vegetables. It is a simple guideline that will help to ensure your family gets their 5 or even more servings from this food group daily.
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Iron for better mood

According to survey, 74% of teenage girls and 19% of boys were not getting enough Iron in their diets. Iron deficiency can impair mood, concentration and physical performance, and lead to fatigue. And what do people usually do when we are tired or stressed? We tend to make poor food choices! So deficiencies like this in the diet can have an impact on food choices throughout the day. Frequently when people feel like they are lacking energy they opt for sugary pop drinks or unhealthy snacks to give them a boost. Ensuring an adequate dietary intake of iron could help improve a child’s overall energy levels while boosting the immune system. Focusing on balanced nutrition without focusing too much on counting calories can be effective weight loss solution for families.

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Be active

You can make sure your family gets active with simply keeping a family chart in the kitchen where each family member writes down how much activity he/she have completed that day (including parents). All members should be aiming for at least 30 minutes of activity per day, but children should do more (an hour per day).

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Drink enough water

Encourage water as a main drink and make sure the whole family is drinking the recommended 6-8 cups of water per day. We often mistake thirst for hunger and not drinking enough fluid in the day can effect concentration too. Beside water, encourage also 1 glass of juice (if possible with 100%) and 1-2 glasses of low fat milk per day.

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Plate size

New research suggests that shrinking the size of children’s plates and bowls and encouraging them to eat more frequently throughout the day might help them eat less and keep off extra weight. In one study, researchers found young children served themselves smaller portions when using miniaturized dishware – and ate less food when they had less on their plate. If more food appears on the plate, they’re probably going to eat more!

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Eat smaller meals eat more frequently

Researchers from Harokopio University in Athens, Greece, looked at 11 studies, mostly conducted in the Mediterranean, that compared eating frequency and weight in close to 19,000 kids and teens. The overall pattern showed that children who ate most often – typically at least four or five times per day – were least likely to be overweight or obese.  So instead of providing three big meals per day, it would be better if children have smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day. However, you still need to pay attention to the quality of these snacks.obesity-cycle

Conclusion

So if we make a conclusion, managing weight loss and healthy eating habits should not be so difficult. The basic rules are simple; increase fiber rich foods, increase color in your meals whit adding more fruits and vegetables, try to lower fat and salt intake, eat smaller meals eat more frequently and increase your and your child’s physical activity. Is at least you can do for the health of your family.

Sibling Day

On this day, April 10th, people in some countries around the world celebrate Sibling Day. It is a day to appreciate and cherish your brothers and sisters. And do you see the reason why wouldn`t we all celebrate this day?

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Siblings are truly a special blessing that we probably all too often take for granted. Usually they are our best friends and supporters through life.
Need another reason to celebrate?  Have in mind that not everyone is lucky enough to have a brother or sister! And that makes their lives significantly different growing up, and throughout life. So if you have one, make sure you let them know how happy that makes you!

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…The brainchild of Claudia Evart…

National Siblings Day is the brainchild of Claudia Evart, who thought up the day as a way for siblings to honor, recognize and celebrate each other. After her brother and sister both died in separate accidents, she dedicated herself to ensuring the bond of brother and sister is forever recognized as the special gift. She is also the founder and director of the Siblings Day Foundation and on their site they wrote: It is an uplifting celebration honoring people who have shaped our values, beliefs and ideals! It is a relationship as equally important as a parent’s relationship.

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…Make a change…

If you are not the only child in the family, then April 10th is a special day for you! No matter what kind of relationship you have with your sibling, take a moment on this day to appreciate them for who they are and what they mean to you.
In case you have no relationship, maybe this is the day to make a change and finally take the first step to reconnect and start the healing process. You might have had a bad argue with them years ago, they might be »just« and step-siblings, adopted siblings and foster siblings, but they are still siblings and that makes them your family!

…Ideas for National Sibling Day…

Sibling day is a great time to be thankful for your sibling, but as we said, most importantly is to get in touch with your siblings.

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If they live close enough:

– visit them or invite them over for dinner and then take a nice walk together and talk about old times…

– get together to have a family portrait done. It will make a great gift to each other and or to your parents…

– go visit your parents. They usually have some funny stories to tell about your childhood…

– do what you used to do when you were younger…

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If they live far away:

– send a hand-written card or give them a call and simply tell them what you love about them most. Do not email or text them, make it personal!!!

-send your sibling flowers or balloons. They probably don’t even know it’s Sibling Day, so it will be an extra special surprise! 🙂

As parents of young siblings, you can play relationship-building games with your children. You should talk with them and let them know how important siblings are to each other!

And there is a funny quote for the end…

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Time for toilet training?

Every parent knows that toilet training can be one of the most frustrating experiences for them and for their child. Although you would like to get rid of nappies as soon as possible, your child might not be ready yet. And how will you know when your child is ready for a potty?

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Today we will talk about symptoms that show that your child is ready to start using a potty and give you some tips for successful toilet training.

Ready or Not?

It is important to catch the right timing! If your child is ready for training and is already showing some interest in toilet, the chances are that it will go smoothly. On the other hand, if you begin with training before your child is ready, toilet training might be a struggle for them and can obtain resistance to training.
So it is crucial to recognize following indicators which shows that your child is ready to start the toilet training:

  • your child has some awareness of body functions and lets you know in some way that they are having a bowel movement or urinating. The child who can tell when they are about to urinate is ready for training.
  • curiosity about the bathroom habits of others is very good indicator, while this can be the first step in toilet training – children love to be able to do what the grown-ups do!

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  • your child is ready to start training when they begin to be upset by nighttime wetting.
  • when your child has the ability to stay dry for up to 4 hours during the day and is sometimes dry after naps.

You have to be aware there is not a set age to begin toilet training – it depends on the individual child. So it’s important to follow your child cues. Some children are ready sooner and some are later, so don’t compare your child with others. According to Dr. Jane Gilbert, boys are a little bit behind girls when it comes to the management of their bladder and bowel – boy`s nervous system is maturing slowly than girl`s. Another reason, according to Professor Gilbert, is that boys are less sensitive to moisture on their skin. There is no need to worry if your son is still not ready to go on the potty, while your friend`s daughter is!

Toilet Training Tips

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As we already figure it out, this process can be a big struggle for both, parents and children. With following tips we are going to show you how you can make this process easier and even fun. Below are some things that need to be taken in to account when training your child.

  • keep in mind that some children are trained to use potty in a couple of days but most take longer than that. If you think your child is finding the process of potty training too difficult and stressful, then the best approach is to leave it for another few weeks or months and try again. 
  • DO NOT force your child into training. You need your child`s co-operation, and you know that they don’t respond kindly if they are forced into situations.

Whatever you do, you should avoid punishments! Again, it is vital that you have your child`s co-operation and motivation when in the training process. It has to be a positive experience for them so punishments do not have a place in training process. Rather try with some motivations and awards like parents in this clip:

 

  • you can try to take your child with you each time you use the toilet. This way they will see that this is a normal thing and probably they will want to try it. You should allow your child to flush the toilet, so they can get use to a sound and won’t get scared later. 

  • young children can be fascinated about what comes out of their body, so you shouldn’t show disgust at their faeces –  showing disgust might put the child off the whole process! 
  • it is important to instill hygienic practices from day one – show your child how to wash hands properly. After every visit to the toilet or potty you should help your child wash their hands. Insisting with this practice at this early age will become a habit for a lifetime.geege
  • always act promptly if asked for potty – this will show you child how important this process is! 
  • if you want your child to spend more time in the toilet or want them to visit it more often, you have to make this area more fun and comfortable. Take your child in to the store and let them choose their new potty  or toilet seat– it can be in in their favorite color or in the shape of the favorite animal, car, …dedeed

  • You can also make the old potty more fun by putting some flashy stickers on it!
  • young children don’t have a lot of patience and they are usually ready to get up off the potty after a few seconds. That’s why you should put some interesting books next to the potty which will encourage your child to spend more time on the potty.lil
    • you can try to use a “potty partner”. Visiting bathroom is much funnier if you have a company – for example your favorite stuffed toy. Encourage your child to show his partner how to use the toilet. Once your child is able to teach his/her partner, he or she will be more likely to use it by him/her-self.efe



 

Peaceful Night Sleep for Your Baby and You

It is well known that newly minted parents sleep very little. If not because of baby`s crying, parents need to wake up just in order to feed the baby. 477a610eda2f3f79_sleep

But sometimes parents struggle with babies that don’t want or can’t fall asleep. After a long day it is very important for parents to go to bed as soon as possible and take a good sleep, before they will have to wake up again after 3-4 hours in order to feed a baby.
So that is why today we are sharing some tips that will help you put your baby to sleep in no time:

It is very important to use the same bedtime routine. Try to keep to the same timetable, as children like predictability and routine.

You should give your baby some time to play and wind down before he or she goes to sleep. This will make your baby tired enough to fall asleep. But make sure to avoid your child being over-tired when going to bed as this can lead to tears etc.

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Try to feed your baby before he or she goes to bed. Babies’ stomachs are tiny and don’t hold enough milk or formula to keep them satisfied for very long. Newborns need to eat every 3-4 hours, so that means you can »assure« yourself at least 3 or 4 hours of sleep.

You should always put your baby into a bed with a clean diaper.

It is very important what your baby wears when he or she goes to bed! Make sure clothing (pajama) is not too warm, too cold or too tight.
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Make sure all the main lights in your baby`s bedroom are turned off. It is also recommended that technological devices, such as computer and television, are kept away from baby`s bedroom.

Almost every baby need help being soothed before they go to sleep. You can sooth them in many different ways like;

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you can walk around with baby in your arms
sing them a song or play some soothing lullabies. You can also try with some nature sounds- just make sure it is not too loud

read or tell your baby a soothing story
offer your baby a pacifier, but take it out when they fell asleep. Otherwise they might wake up if the pacifier fells out of his or her mouth

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rock the baby in a rocker or glider

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if nothing else works, you can try give your baby a warm bath. Most (but not all!) babies find it very relaxing. But don’t make it a fun math, while it might get them too excited

Once baby is in bed, it is very important that you try not to be in the room, even though baby might be crying. If you are, your baby will associate falling asleep with your presence and my not be able to fall asleep alone. Also try to avoid going in and out of their room.

It is also important to take turns (if you can) putting your child to sleep so that if one parent is away the other will be familiar with the routine.

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You can use these tips in the evening as well as during the day. If the baby will not fall asleep after you tried these tips, check for fever, teething discomfort, or other illnesses. Your child might be telling you that something is wrong.

One more tip! In the first period, it is recommended for moms to take a nap with their babies during the day. They need a rest, while their psycho-physical well-being depends on the amount of the mother`s milk.
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You can also try some of these tricks…

World Autism Awareness Day

Today is the World Autism Awareness Day, so we would like to share some facts regarding to autism and how to deal with it.

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On 18th December 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring the 2nd of April as a World Autism Awareness Day. This resolution encourages all member states to increase awareness about autism among their population and to contribute to the early diagnosis of autism.

…What is autism?…

Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder that affects the way a person communicates and relates to people around them. Autism is much more common than most people think and can affect people of all nationalities and from all cultural, religious and social backgrounds.

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For all people with autism is considered to have deficits in three main areas: social interaction, social communication and imagination.
That means that people with autism have difficulties in both verbal and non-verbal communication. Many of them understand speech very literally and think that people say exactly what they think. They often have difficulties with recognizing or understanding the feelings and emotions of other people and expressing their own feelings.

…Autistic children…

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We are going to try to explain some fact about autistic children, how we can recognize the symptoms and what can we do in order to improve their life.

Autistic children prefer to play by themselves; their communication is limited or non-existent. They can be disrupted by normal everyday things, and that is why they feel the safest in their own world.
It is crucial for parents of autistic children to recognize symptoms and find help with specialists. Parents all too often deny that their children may be autistic. Often these children get diagnosed too late, and therefore have more problems in their development.

 …First signs when parents may suspect that their child has autism?…

Parents are the first to notice unusual or unexpected behavior! For example: the child does not pay attention to his trustees,  he or she is not responding to his/her name, he or she is showing more interest in objects than in people, the development of speech leads to delays or speech does not develop. Many children with autism repeat certain words, even whole phrases that, for example, they heard in the cartoon. Most children with autism have difficulty in accepting changes.
That’s why it is helpful if you talk to them in a clear, specific, consistent way and give them time to process information, which has been told.
If you notice this kind of behavior, you should visit specialist that will guide you through further education of your child.

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It is important to know, that autistic children can be “learn” just as any other children – we just have to choose a different route. Children without autism are usually learning by imitating others. But for autistic children, it is necessary to divide each activity into steps and capture the activity step by step. At the beginning of learning, autistic child will not give much on your verbal praise (for example; you were good, you did a great job). They need something more concrete/more tangible, like their favorite toy. You should reward all activities that are appropriate and variable. Some children are also more aware of our instructions if they are written or visually presented. It is also important to realize, that education of persons with autism continues in adulthood!

…What can you expect?…

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Some children with autism have unusual skills for drawing, writing, numeracy and computer skills, some have an incredible photographic memory and some are incredibly talented in music. But on the other hand they might reject general things like taking care for hygiene, greeting people and sitting at the table.

Experts say you should expect everything and anything. Your child might have incredible talent– you just need to find out what it is.

…All parents should be aware of these facts…

Autism is not a mental illness.

Children with autism are not unruly kids who choose not to behave.

Autism is not caused by “refrigerator mothers” who either consciously or subconsciously reject their children, nor is it caused by bad parenting.

Autism is not an indication of genius. A small percentage of autistic people are autistic savants who do have incredible talents. Most autistic people are not so gifted.

“Autism is not me. Autism is just an information processing problem that controls who I am”Donna Williams, author of ‘Nobody, Nowhere’ and ‘Somebody, Somewhere.

…Some historical figures that were considered autistic…