While stepping out on my backyard deck yesterday, I noticed one thing. It was quiet. I mean there was no other noise besides the trees swaying and the sound of a few cars driving by from holiday traveling. The moment reminded me of one of my grandmother’s “southern gal” expressions that always brought me to tears of laughter. “It’s quieter than a mouse pissing on cotton,” she would say. It was that way since my 6-year-old son A.J went to Balmar Beach with a cousin for the Fourth of July weekend. He does go out with family sometimes, but I forgot how it feels to get a ton of things accomplished without him. I began to think about all the activities I use to engage my son when multitasking to get through the day. My next task was listing them and finding more options. Here is what I came up with.
These ideas aren’t drenched in novelty but they work. Bedtime was comical when my son was one; at least it was for him. He’d seem to be sleeping but as soon as I closed my eyes, he’d pull a fast one. By hearing his giggles and watching him stare up with big playful eyes, one would think any mom would be putty in his hands. However, at 1 am in the morning, most mothers are resistant to the cute cuddly baby bit. We want to sleep! My family and I discovered a trick, which never failed to send A.J soaring into a slumber. It was listening to music — not just any kind of music but Jazz and Rhythm & Blues. Before reaching the middle of the song, A Very Precious Time by Jazz Artist and Poet Gil-Scott Heron, A.J’s eyes became heavy as lead. I guess he couldn’t fight the slow melancholy tune. It was either that or boredom. Now, A.J stays heavily involved in the sport of the season. Usually during those months, his sleeping patterns aren’t as bad. If he gets restless before bed, we play games on my phone from the Android apps on Google Play, such as Hangman and Tic Tac Toe, until he goes to sleep. The extra time allows me to do little chores around the room.
Achieving weight-loss and maintaining a routine workout is another challenge. My goal is to lose 30 lbs, and lately, I’ve tried to balance an effective workout routine with A.J. Exercising at 5:30 am to Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred, which is an intense and convenient cardio workout, can be done in 20 minutes. Given that I’m not a morning person, I chose another avenue. I have learned to include A.J in my workout routines. I go to the park and jog on my own, but when I can’t, we’ve worked out with cd’s or with short workouts On Demand. I’ve even created a military-like setting using crates and hula hoops (instead of tires) planted sturdily in the backyard soil. A.J leaps on the crate and catches the ball that I throw to him, then drops down. He does this repeatedly until we change roles. Trainers also use the same “Box Jump Drills” for toning, improving power, and reflex development. Another kid-friendly workout is bike riding or running along side your child while he or she rides. Why not challenge them to a race? Kids are competitive by nature.
A fun tip written in a study by Indiana University mentioned that a simple way to include a variety of basic motor development skills for younger kids is to create an obstacle course.
“The children can go through, in, over and under obstacles; throw balls at a target, and jump over a rope or crawl under a rope (if they are in a wheel chair). Some equipment to use for basic motor skills are air mattresses, cones, mobiles, balance beams, balloons, balls, bean bags, hoops, mirrors, rattles, ropes, targets, tires, and tunnels.”
Incorporating fitness and thinking games into activities while parents complete other tasks not only helps to engage children but also develops their cognitive and motor skills. In the same study, it stated that movement is one of the most important aspects of a young child’s life including children with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities.
Balancing life-tasks doesn’t have to be overwhelming but fun and conducive to child development. A few simple ideas can go a long way in keeping them engaged because they’re always eager to learn and explore.
Shortly after graduating college, pursuing my career was no longer my first priority. I was preparing for the full-time job of becoming a mom for the months ahead of me. What an enormous responsibility for a single, young aspiring journalist!
High school English teacher and mom Eileen Riley-Hall co’ taught autistic children in college summer camp and has worked with special needs students for over 25 years. However, she had never suspected her own daughters’ diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Many are outraged as the heart-rending death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin has touched viewers nationally. Friday evening, Sanford, Florida police released seven 911 recordings of calls made by Martin’s shooter, George Zimmerman, and frantic neighbors in the area the night of the shooting. The tapes expose some truth to the Martin case, after an ongoing dispute over whether Martin was killed in self-defense.
It’s incredibly easy to hold a grudge in such trying times like these: almost half of marriages end in divorce, mass layoffs last year compelled workers to cling to their jobs, and so on. Dating is even harder than ever these days. When transferring baggage from one relationship to another, often times, we find ourselves in a battle for our feelings. Anything can trigger resentment—no matter how well some are at hiding it—the truth is everyone has a distinct story to share about their own sensitive pasts. For those who do, masking unforgiveness as a replacement for handling it appropriately is very unhealthy studies show, and bitterness is commonly the resultant emotion.
Redshirting: does it work? Education professionals share their views on keeping children back from kindergarten
At one point, if parents so much as thought that their child would be held back in school, it wouldn’t have been a pretty picture. Apparently, the idea of holding children back has expanded in meaning over the years and has become an increasingly popular trend for parents of preschool aged children who prefer them to be the oldest in their classes–This term for this is redshirting.
“How simple a thing it seems to me that to know ourselves as we are, we must know our mother’s names.” ~ Alice Walker.
When Author Alice Walker wrote this statement as part of an essay, Search of Our Mother’s Garden, she was referring to the act of identifying ourselves by learning who our biological mothers and grandmothers are. This serves true in knowing about your past as a woman as well.
The political debate between the Obama Administration and the Catholic Church on the contraception mandate, requiring employers to provide healthcare that includes free contraception is an argument that I’ve hesitated to touch on given the sensitivity of this issue.
First Lady Michelle Obama writes, special to CNN, about the progress that she’s seen since the launch of her nationwide initiative, Let’s Move last year. It was designed to end America’s childhood obesity epidemic that affects nearly one in three of our children.
Around tax-season, the common goal is getting the most out of your tax-refunds, although, all of the IRS literature filled with ever-changing tax laws, tax-credits and deductions that you have to learn feels like an over-load of information