Category: Tips

Top 10 Summer Water Safety Tips

With summer days ahead, we can’t help but get excited for hot days where we can dip into the water. But as a parent we also can’t help but think of water safety for our children too.

This is why we thought it would be fitting to put together a list of some tips on water safety. We have gone to the experts at Aqua-Tots Swim Schools in Mississauga to give us the low down on what all parents and guardians should keep in mind around the water.

Tip #1 – Check Before You Swim!

Always have an adult check the water prior to going in. It is important to check how deep it is and if there is anything at the bottom that can be of danger. This way it will be a safe place for a child to swim.

Tip #2 – Buddy System

There is always safety in numbers. When going into the water, always swim with a buddy. Not only is it safe but fun too! Stay within your comfort level in the water and don’t be shy to ask for help when needed.

Tip #3 – Supervise

This tip can’t be stressed enough and a great warning for all parents and guardians. Make sure there is always direct adult supervision at all times when a child is in the water keeping a close eye to help prevent any in-water incidents.

Tip #4 – Finding Your Air

Practice having your child become comfortable with getting into the recovery position and finding their air on their back (doing the back float) when trying to find their place of safety.

Tip #5 – Fishy Cheeks

Practice the fishy cheeks method – inhaling air and holding for a count of 5 to build comfort with submersions.

Tip #6 – Jumping!

Everyone loves a good jump into the water but it is important to keep safety in mind. It is recommended to practice safe entries such as feet first. Avoid deep dives and belly flops for safety reasons.

Tip #7 – Pool Exists

Not only entering the pool needs to be done with safety but leaving the pool too. For tots and school aged children, the proper way to guide them safely out of the pool is by guiding their limbs by using elbow, elbow, tummy, knee and knee.

Tip #8 – No Running

A safety rule that everyone should follow is that there should be absolutely no running on the pool deck to prevent slips and falls.

Tip #9 – Clean Pool = Safe Pool

Keep pool toys away from the pool and deck area when not in use. This will prevent accidents in and out of the pool.

Tip #10 – Goggles

Ask your child to practice swimming with and without goggles. By doing this, you are allowing your child to adapt to the various water environments and it prevents your child to develop a dependency on goggles.

These 10 tips on water safety will have your family enjoying summer with peace of mind. We can not stress enough the importance of staying safe and enjoying the water.

Did we miss a tip? If so, we would love to hear them. Feel free to leave a comment below with what tip you would include.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

This article is brought to you in partnership with Aqua-Tots Swim School, Mississauga.

 

 

How To Prepare Your Family For Interstate Moving

Moving can be quite the unforgettable adventure, especially if you know the place you’re moving to is something you know you’d like to live in. However, preparing the family for moving interstate isn’t just a matter of asking everyone to pack. Here’s how to prepare your family for interstate moving, and how you can move in without hassle.

Simply Self Storage numbers indicate that a myriad of individuals actually use moving services, although 44-percent of their respondents are from individuals. Other users include corporate (36-percent), and the military (16-percent). 73-percent of things moved are household goods, with 20-percent being office equipment. Here are tips to prepare your family for the “big day”:

 

  • Assess everything you own with a thorough spring clean. This is especially if you’ve been living in your previous home for quite some time. Make sure you inspect every nook and cranny of your previous household and have a record of what you own and where everything is. This allows you to prepare what to take and what to leave behind.
  • Are you sure you need everything? Try to assess if there’s clutter you’ve saved but don’t exactly need and consider either selling them or throwing them away. This is because long distance movers can be quite expensive if you’ve decided to bring everything with you. If you do want to keep some clutter, try to assess how much of the costs would be allocated to them, and if you can carry that burden.
  • If you have large appliances, consider selling them. True, they might be a bit of a hassle buying newer appliances in your new area, but consider the costs of bringing the large appliances with you compared to buying a brand new one. Chances are, your old appliances might be in disrepair and may need replacement soon, anyway.
  • Get the right kind of equipment. If you’re hiring a moving company to help you, make sure you help them by getting the right kind of boxes to store your belongings in. Don’t just use boxes from the local store, as they’re built to handle groceries and not books, ornaments, and dishes. Label the boxes properly, too, and make your own inventory.
  • Get yourself a reliable moving company. If you’re moving interstate, chances are you may have shortlisted a few moving companies to help you along the way. Find best rated interstate moving companies that are not only able to move to the state with a relatively reasonable rate, but choose one that’s reputable and licensed.
  • Prepare for the move earlier, if it’s possible. Try to make sure you start and finish packing a few days before the actual move happens, as this can alleviate both you and your mover when it comes to any last-minute concerns. If you need to say goodbye to neighbors and friends, try to hold a party a few weeks before the move itself, so you have enough time to prepare.
  • Make sure to keep in touch with your moving company. Establishing good connection with your moving company can at least give you some measure of guarantee on the safety and security of your belongings throughout the move. This also allows you to properly follow-up on important matters, especially when there are sudden changes to weather and traffic.

Conclusion

If there’s anything the points above have taught us, it’s that interstate moving takes more than just preparing your things and hiring a mover to do the heavy-lifting for you. It takes knowledge on the location and the logistics, a keen eye on safety, and awareness to one’s surroundings are just some things to help ensure interstate moving is done without a hitch.

 

Steve Acker

Steve Acker has been writing as a frustrated novelist for the past 15 years, and he’s got into blog writing very recently thanks to the suggestion of a friend. As a contributor to sites such as 9kilo, Steve has applied his creative flair to his pieces, making them entertaining and informative at the same time. He loves reading books and talking with his friends in the nearby coffee shop if he has the time.

 

Parent Engagement in Children’s Learning: Guidelines for Good Practice

Like every caring parent, you want your child to show progress and do their best at school. So, in order to help them, you’d like to be engaged in their learning process. This can definitely be a good thing, since it will show your child they have your support and you will probably help them overcome some obstacles in the process. Here are some good ways to be involved in your child’s learning process.

Get to know the school and the teachers

Attend school events, like orientation or PTA meetings. Being involved at the school will allow you to get familiar with the school, teachers and other school staff, as well as with other parents. That way you can be informed of the school personnel’s plans and goals, especially those concerning your child. Find out if there are activities or events you can help organize or monitor, such as field trips and school dances, or even offer to help in your kid’s class, which will give you an insight of the school and the classroom atmosphere, but also of what is expected from your child.

Photo by rawpixel.com

Ask how your child is doing

Start with asking your child how they’re doing at school, and then find out about your child’s progress from their teacher. If you feel like your child isn’t making enough progress, ask for the teacher’s opinion on what the problem is and what you can do to help. Don’t wait too long; react as soon as possible, since you don’t want your child to fall behind too much. When you get a report card from your child’s teacher, read it thoroughly. Always be polite and friendly to the teacher, and even if you question their teaching skills, give them the benefit of the doubt, and approach them with questions, rather than accusations. Anybody will be more helpful if they’re treated with respect.

Help your child with the curriculum

If you see that your little one can’t cope with their curriculum, jump in and help. Explain anything that is unclear to them, help them deal with difficult tasks and point them towards the solution to any problem they might have. And if you and your child need extra help with key subjects, the smartest thing to do is get professional English tutoring or additional math classes. It’s important to know when your knowledge or methods simply aren’t enough and accept that it’s completely fine to hire somebody to help you.

Photo by NeONBRAND

See to it that your child’s homework gets done

Children can sometimes forget to do their homework, or simply choose not to do it, when they feel there are more interesting things for them to do. It’s your job to make sure that doesn’t happen. First, explain to your child the importance of consistency and that homework needs to be done every day in order for them to progress at school and learn more. You can help by removing any distractions from your child when they’re doing their homework. This includes telephones, tablet computers or the television. If they need help organizing or any materials for their homework, be there. Monitor their work, check if the homework is completed and correct, and praise your child, letting them know you’re proud of their effort.

Be positive

If you maintain a positive attitude towards learning and school, your child will pick up on that. Be a positive role model and read with your child, so that they perceive reading as something pleasant. If you limit their screen time, you should show support by skipping your favourite TV show and switching off your phone when it’s study or homework time. Tell your child about all the good things you achieved in life because of what you learned at school. They need to know that they aren’t just learning to get a good grade, but to gain knowledge of the world around them.

Photo by Chris Benson

Active learning

Whenever possible, show your child the practical use of their theoretical knowledge, whether in the kitchen, or outside in nature. For example, they won’t mind learning about animals if you take them to the zoo, so that they can see what all those animals really look like. Active learning is all about them asking questions and getting answers, exploring their surroundings and solving various problems. Encourage your child to play sports or play an instrument, and to ask all the questions that pop into their mind, which will reflect on their enthusiasm for school and learning.

Your involvement in your child’s education is a key factor in their academic success, so get involved and give your child all the time and patience they need to thrive. Your child is worth it.

 

Written by: Claire Adams

About the Author

Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. She enjoys life to the fullest in the healthiest way possible and loves to share her insights into parenting, education, and entrepreneurship. Feel free to reach her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Knowing When Not To “Ovary” Step Your Boundaries

To empower change, you need to be a driver of change.

I started my blog almost three years ago and the driving factor was to inspire others’ through experiences that I share from my own life and from other amazing people. I always felt that we can learn so much from one another and it helps us empathize with the paths that people walk through.

Not one person lives the same life or has the same experiences as another. That is why it is important to create a community of understanding and support.

But it wasn’t until I got into the parenting world that I have seen another side of “human interest.”

We all have been asked a million in one questions about our lives by curious people. But when do the questions become too personal?

Now I am an open book ever since becoming a parent. What you see is what you get in layers (I have to be honest). I tolerate a lot of questions as I want to be respectful and nice but I really don’t think that anyone should endure it. Even if it is perceived as “normal” questions to ask.

Recently, I have been asked if I was expecting as a few people noticed that I was interested in attending a Baby Show (Thanks Facebook for sharing events that I am interested in. This is an issue that I don’t even want to touch on…yet). Now I am not sure how that conclusion came about since I do write a blog on parenting and am the Assignments Editor at The Baby Spot. But that is beside the point. Of course I shared my thoughts online as it can be therapeutic to vent online for all to see. Then it had me really thinking, “Why do people ask and why do they care?”

I read an article awhile back that spoke volumes about wanting or getting pregnant was no one’s business. And it is very true! Now I know many people who don’t see the harm in asking so let me bring in my experience as that is the only way I know how.

Back in 2014, I gave birth to a healthy little baby girl. We were all thrilled as my husband and I were married for already seven years so people were starting to really question if babies were in our future (didn’t know there was a timeline of having children after marriage but to some there is). I thought this could be the end of the baby questions but unfortunately it was not and I wasn’t too surprised. As we have been programmed to ask these “normal” questions.

We were even asked why it took us so long to get pregnant and if there was something wrong with us. Once I had the courage to respond, I replied with tears in my eyes, “There wasn’t a problem. We were just grieving the loss of our baby that we miscarried before we had our healthy baby girl.” This was the first time that we were disclosing this information to people and while many empathized, others continued with questions. So I slowly developed a thick skin to brush the insensitive questions and played it off that the people who were asking “didn’t know any better.”

But I think it is time to bring this to light as this momma and many others have had enough.

Unless a woman has come to you to talk about her pregnancy goals or life, don’t ask!

Reasons Why Not To Ask

We don’t know what one is going through and some women could be going through any one of these reasons as this is why you should not ask:

  • Grieving a miscarriage
  • Difficulty in getting pregnant
  • Financial strain (News flash! Kids are expensive)
  • Suffering from other health issues
  • In an abusive relationship or just a rocky relationship
  • Does not want children (There is nothing wrong with that)

The list could go on and on. The bottom line is that they are not your ovaries to care so much about. Did it ever occur to people that those constant questions could actually cause the person stress? Imagine the health issues that stress brings onto a person!

I am sure that the questions come with no malice attach to them but it doesn’t mean it should be acceptable either. Let’s break the “normal” and start asking less questions about others and start listening more. You would be surprised at how much someone can disclose without being asked.

Now onto the question on many minds…Is Momma Braga pregnant?

The answer is very simple and that is NO. Do I want another? Only time will tell. But if I do and I do become pregnant then I will announce it with great pride. In the meantime, I am enjoying being a mom to one energetic daughter who has taught me that being a mother is the hardest job that I will ever have.

Please let’s respect one another and let’s break old traditions. Be the change by leading by example. Change can only happen if you do something or in this case not ask the questions.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

–          Momma Braga

Kids Off to College – How to Cope with the Empty Nest Syndrome

Source: Pexels.com

Written By: Claire Adams

Sending your kids off to college should be one of the happiest moments in your life. However, for many mothers, this is also one of the hardest moments, as they will be separated from their children for the first time and for a prolonged period.

This is better known as an empty nest syndrome, and if you don’t know how to cope with it, you can create a tough situation both for you and your kids. So, let’s go over some tips that will show you what to do and what not to do when your kids finally leave for college.

Face the music

First of all, you should come to terms that your children are leaving and that they probably won’t return to your household. Sure, it will be hard and you will shed some tears, but that is all a part of the healing process.

The worst thing that you can do is to neglect your emotions and bury them; like that ever worked for anyone. You need to be open about the situation and learn to embrace it. Just remember that the adaptation process takes time. So, don’t expect to wake up one morning feeling jolly that your kids aren’t home, or maybe you will; everybody is different.

Source: Pexels.com

Start new activities with your spouse

Having no children around your household means that you will have a ton more time for yourself. While your kids were in the spotlight for the past 18 years or so, the time has finally come to put more attention to what you and your spouse want to do.

Maybe you were planning a tropical vacation for decades, but you couldn’t get around doing it because of your parental responsibilities. Regardless, now, you can do whatever you want. Of course, going on adventures with your spouse is also an excellent way to keep your mind off your kids. After all, you don’t want to be one of those mothers that speed dials their children every hour or so.

Keep the campus visits on the low

Next, you need to resist the urge to visit your kids every weekend. Campus visits are fantastic and going over there when they are in a tough spot with exams can help your kids stay motivated. However, if you start going over there every week or even every month, you can create the opposite effect.

The first year of college is the most important year, and you need to let your “babies” find their own way. And most importantly, don’t worry about their safety. Regardless if your children are staying in a college campus of the University of Toronto or in a private student accommodation in Melbourne CBD, know that they will be safe at all times. One last thing, don’t make surprise visits. Maybe your kids are studying or they have something planned with their college friends, and you showing up out of nowhere can ruin that.

Source: Pexels.com

Make new friends

Since your kids are off making friends and studying (of course), you should do the same. Well, you don’t have to study, but you should start meeting new people. You can join a book club, reconnect with your friends that are also going through the same phase, and so on. Most parents feel lonely once their kids leave for college, and the best way to shake off that feeling is to be around people.

Pick up a hobby

Finally, you should pick up a hobby. Keeping yourself busy with a fun little hobby is the best therapy for your mind. If you didn’t have the time for hobbies in the past, now is the best time for them. You can start DIY projects around the house, pick up sewing, plant a small garden in your backyard, or anything else that you may enjoy.

And that is about it for today. As you can see, dealing with the empty nest syndrome is a slow but necessary process. Even though sending your kids to college is a dream-come-true, that doesn’t mean that you cannot feel sad about it. Just don’t try to ignore your feelings, and know that time heals everything.

 

About the Author

Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. She enjoys life to the fullest in the healthiest way possible and loves to share her insights into parenting, education, and entrepreneurship. Feel free to reach her on Facebook and Twitter.

4 Tips on How To Turn Tears Into Cheers In Swimming

One of my fears when my daughter was enrolled in swimming was the tears that may come with her learning. Luckily, we did not have any tears from her but from me instead.

Besides my inability to let go when I should, I have seen many children cry before their swim class and even during it. So I went to the experts at Aqua-Tots Swim School to see if they can offer tips to help parents in this type of situation.

I want to first state that crying when learning how to swim is very common and normal. So don’t feel like there is something wrong. When you have a great school like Aqua-Tots Swim School to help you along the way, in the end you both will feel much better.

There are some common reasons as to why children cry. Here are the four most common ones:

  1. It’s New – Swimming lessons are a new experience. There are new sights, sounds, textures, smells, faces, and interactions in the pool environment.
  2. Age – With time, your child will gain control over their emotions and learn to enjoy the water.
  3. Fear or Anger – Some children are genuinely fearful of the water and it takes time to help them overcome their fear. Other children can become angry and use tears to control the situation.
  4. Separation Anxiety – Your child may experience separation anxiety and feel anxious when away from familiar people and places.

Hearing your child cry is always hard (I know it is for me) and there are ways to help them when it comes to swimming lessons. Here are four tips to help.

  1. Be Positive and Keep Your Eyes on The Goal – As a parent, you can encourage your child with compliments and praise on what they do well in each lesson.
  2. Keep Cool – Being calm helps your child settle down faster.
  3. Practice At Home – Make it fun! Use the tub, shower, and pool to practice swimming skills (i.e. holding breath, water submersions, etc.)
  4. Be Consistent – Skipping or discounting swim lessons inhibits swimming progressions and will extend the time it takes to learn how to swim safely.

The layout at Aqua-Tots is great to help the child gain trust of the instructor as the parents can view the lesson through the viewing gallery which allows them to interact with their child. This way your child is aware that you are near and rooting for them. This space allows the instructor and the child build trust and a bond will form.

This is one of the many reasons why Aqua-Tots is amazing as they are there for you every step of the way. Their instructors care about your child and they are trained to:

  1. Identify the reason your child is crying so they can best alleviate the tears.
  2. Build trusting relationships with your child.
  3. Offer consistent routines and terminology in every lesson.
  4. Help your child build trust in the water.

Water is an adaptive environment and it takes time to adjust. The more frequently your child comes to lessons, the faster the crying will subside. The general rule of thumb is:

  • 3+ lessons per week – crying subsides after 3-4 lessons
  • 2 lessons per week – crying subsides after 5-6 lessons
  • 1 lesson per week – crying subsides after 7-8 lessons

With these tips and with the guidance of the swimming school, you will be at tears to cheers in no time. Just remember that at Aqua-Tots Swim School they never leave your side to ensure that everyone is happy.

If you are interested in swim lessons, give Aqua-Tots Swim School a call at 905-848-2782. Also make sure to follow them on Facebook to see what’s new.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

–          Momma Braga

 

This article is brought to you in partnership with Aqua-Tots Swim School, Mississauga.

The “Why” Experiment

“Why? Why? But Why”

The wonderful “why” phase is a popular one in the toddler years, especially at the age of three. In our home we have entered this world of constant whys and even though it can be daunting at times…I love them!

Have I gone crazy? Not yet! 😉

Photo Credit: Aqua-Tots Swim School – Mississauga

The love for the “whys” is simple. It shows me that she is curious about the world around her. She is asking the question to learn and with her eagerness, I am seeing the world through her eyes which is so much more fun. There is nothing wrong with the “whys” and even though we may think its a way to torture us parents, it really isn’t. 🙂 However, I can’t deny that sometimes the “whys” can get under ones’ skin especially when you have given a very detailed answer where there is no other logical reason for a why. So I decided to do an experiment and I had the perfect toddler to try it with, my daughter Nikki.

For one full week I decided to answer every single why, even if the answer didn’t make any sense. For those who really know me, know that I usually have an answer to everything anyways so this should be my area of expertise. So off I went answering every why every time it was spoken. I noticed that after the fifth why Nikki just stopped and went on her merry way. Did I break the Nikki code?!

The next week I did the exact same thing and this time we were able to cut back on how many “whys” were asked but we were having longer (toddler) conversations. I noticed that I was taking more time to communicate with my daughter and explaining things to her in more detail that helped her feel satisfied. But what tugged at my heart strings was the extra sparkle in her eyes with how intrigued she was by all she was learning. That alone was worth all the “whys” millions of times a day.

Today, there are a few less “whys” but a lot more conversations and laughter as toddler talk is hilarious! So this “why” experiment became a bonding exercise for our family and one that we have loved doing.

So here are some tips on tackling the “whys”:

  1. Be Patient. This is a phase as most things are but if they continue to ask why then they are just eager to learn; embrace their curiosity.
  2. Answer. Try to really think about the why they are asking and give the best answer you can. Remember that at the age of three, you can say absolutely anything as they don’t know if it really is right.
  3. Be Prepared. You may have more whys to respond to after a strange answer that you may have given; therefore, be prepared to back it up. 😉
  4. Love It. Enjoy each why and embrace the conversation. Know that this experience can be fun and hilarious. Your child’s mind is exploring the wonders of the world around them and absorbing it all.

Above all, it really is an exciting phase and if you keep responding, the whys won’t be as frequent. They just want to feed their wonder and when you see it being fulfilled – it’s the best feeling in the world!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Special Thank You To Our Article Sponsor:

 

 

Learning Swim Skills Through Aqua-Tots Swim School

Every year we hear about children falling into pools or waters and drowning and it’s always tragic to hear. This is why we felt it was important to have our daughter learn to swim. Of course we will combine the swim lessons with water safety and what to do in case of an emergency.

Therefore, my sister-in-law was on the case to help me find a swim school that would be a great fit for our family and provide the program that would teach the skills that my daughter needed to know. After a lengthy research she found the Aqua-Tots Swim Schools.

The school was originally founded in Arizona in 1991 and has grown considerably over the years to have a strong North American and international presence thanks to its carefully crafted swimming program for children. Aqua-Tots Swim Schools Mississauga is the first Aqua-Tots location in Canada and has had its doors open to the Toronto West and Mississauga communities since January 2017.

With a focus on safety, a heated pool, a facility designed for families, and on-going progress reports across eight swim levels, Aqua-Tots Swim Schools introduces babies and children of all ages to safe swimming and water practices. Open six days a week, with flexible morning and afternoon lesson times, the swim schools offers a range of classes.

Aqua-Tots Swim School had a great history and structure and we loved their mission statement: “With more than 80 swim schools worldwide, Aqua-Tots was founded on the principle of equipping children with life-long water safety skills. Aqua-Tots Swim Schools is committed to helping children of all ages develop these life-saving skills through an engaging curriculum that is especially designed to complement each child’s life stage.”

Photo Credit: Aqua-Tots Simming School Mississauga

This is exactly the type of school that we were looking for and therefore, Nikki was registered in the Beginner program which is Level 3, LeapFrogs.

Aqua-Tots Swim Schools, teaches babies as young as 4 months old and children of all ages how to be safe in and around water and develop a love for swimming. Each of the eight levels has a focus that’s specific to the age and ability of the child. For example, the Level 1, Tadpoles class is for guardians and infants and focuses on water adjustment. Additionally, attention is on safety and breath control.

Level 2, Minnows, on the other hand, is still a guardian and toddler program, in which toddlers learn about the importance of boundaries in and around water with an ongoing focus on safety. Each new level develops at a comfortable pace for the child. Advanced levels, such as seven and eight have little ones working on the butterfly stroke and building endurance after they have mastered the other main strokes.

Photo Credit: Aqua-Tots Swimming School Mississauga

Our first swim lesson was scheduled on a Sunday afternoon and we made it a family affair. I have to be honest as that is the only way I know how to be but I was very nervous for many reasons. One reason was on how Nikki was going to react going with the instructor to the swimming pool without me and the second reason was on her safety. I think it is natural for us parents to feel like that especially with something new.

The time came and it was time for Nikki to start her class. The instructor called her name and took her hand and her progress sheet (I like to call it her report card) and off they went. To my surprise Nikki didn’t even turn back to say good-bye and I can feel the tears welt up in my eyes. I sat down to watch the class in session and she was a real pro looking like she was in her element. I couldn’t help feel really emotional and proud at the same time. The first swim class was a wrap and Nikki fell in love with swimming!

We started our swim classes in July and are still continuing once a week. We have changed the format of her swim classes from group to semi-private classes and even the day of the week that we wanted to have it on. So we love the flexibility that they have been able to offer for families. Nikki has improved her confidence in the water and has really picked up on the skills quickly. But we know with time, she will be swimming to her hearts content soon.

For this #MelandNikkiReview, we give Aqua-Tots Swim School 5 LeapFrogs out of 5. Here is why we love them:

  • Great programs that are tailored to toddlers and children to help them gain the skills needed to swim.
  • Flexible schedules available for families which is so great for working families.
  • Clean and safe environment. They are extremely clean and have safety in mind. As a parent, it is important to learn about your swim schools safety procedure.
  • Caring instructors and staff members who make you feel like part of the family.
  • It’s fun! Your child learns and has fun at the same time.

If you are looking for a swim class for your child then we suggest looking at Aqua-Tots Swim School. Enrolment is on-going, season-neutral and takes less than 5 minutes to complete. Visit Aqua-Tot’s website to read about the different levels of swimming lessons https://www.aqua-tots.com/swim-lessons/swim-levels/. If you are in the Mississauga area you can call the Aqua-Tots Swim School at 905-848-2782 which is located at 1970 Dundas Street East, Unit 6. Also make sure to follow them on Facebook to see what’s new. For Aqua-Tots main office, follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Special thank you to Natalia from Aqua-Tots Swimming School Mississauga for taking the time to contribute some background information to this article and to the staff at Aqua-Tots for making swimming so much fun for my daughter.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that this not a paid or sponsored post. This article is an honest review of services that we have used and are currently using.

 

Supporting Personality and Confidence Growth in Children

Our children are our greatest treasure and we, as parents, need to do everything in our power to provide them with an appropriate environment where they can develop their unique personalities and self-esteem and grow into strong, confident persons. Helping them develop great self-confidence means partially paving their way for happiness, well-being and a stable future. Thus, it’s essential that we help them develop their personalities, acquire a strong sense of competence and gain a realistic image of themselves and their abilities.

Express your love and appreciation

Although this goes without saying, showing your child that you love and appreciate them will greatly influence their self-image. Every child needs to feel accepted and loved by their family and later on their friends. It’s essential that your child knows that you love them unconditionally because it will help them develop a positive self-image. This is particularly important when they make a mistake or you lose your temper – your child needs to know that you love them no matter what.

Find proper educational help

Although parents are real-life super-people who manage to balance their family, personal and professional lives, sometimes they should seek help from professionals with educational experience to help their children advance or overcome certain developmental difficulties. This is of the utmost importance if you and your spouse have full-time jobs, because you need to pay special attention when it comes to appropriate childcare. Parents in Australia are supported by the early education Panania childcare centre, recognised for their focus on interpersonal relationships and social development, while providing a safe and caring environment for children. This type of childcare centre can really be a substantial support to parents and children during their upbringing. Not only do they make children feel accepted by their peers, they can also help them acquire a range of skills and start them off on the road to success.

Praise and criticise responsibly

When praising and criticising your child, you need to be very careful about how you do it because both can have negative effects on your child’s self-image. Every child is mischievous from time to time and you simply need to express disapproval of certain actions and behaviours. However, what you shouldn’t do is criticise your child and their personality. Instead, you need to focus on the behaviour itself and explain why they shouldn’t behave that way. Saying “you’re a bad boy” will affect your child’s opinion of themselves, but saying “you shouldn’t do this because…” will help them understand why a certain behaviour is inappropriate.

When it comes to praising your child, you also need to be mindful of how you do it. If you praise every little thing your child does, you’ll send a message that you have low expectations of them, which will affect their confidence. On the other hand, if you say “you’re the smartest child ever”, they will acquire a false self-image. Eventually, when they come across an obstacle that they cannot overcome, they will feel incompetent. Therefore, you shouldn’t exaggerate when you praise your child, but try to focus on positive behaviours you want to reinforce.

Teach your child responsibility

Assigning your child specific tasks and responsibilities will help them become more independent and self-assured. When you give your child an important task, you show them that you trust them with it, which sends a positive message to your child. If you give them a bit more demanding task, they’ll feel satisfied with themselves once they’ve completed. However, you should carefully choose the difficulty of a certain task – it should be neither too difficult nor too easy. If you assign them an extremely difficult task, they won’t be able to complete it and end up losing confidence in their abilities. On the other hand, if the task is too easy, they’ll quickly get bored and may even feel that you don’t trust them with more challenging tasks. Thus, you should aim for a task that will be slightly above your child’s abilities, which will give your child’s self-confidence a boost once they’ve completed it.

Parents all over the world are giving their best to provide their children with the optimal conditions for their development and these are some of the ways that can guide them in the right direction.

3 Must Have Gifts To Get Your Kids Right Now!!!

By: Grace Cross, Editor of The Baby Spot

Twitter

Originally Posted Here

As I walked with my four year old down a busy city street in the sweltering heat, I stopped momentarily to grab my key out of my purse so I was prepared to unlock a building door. As I reached for the front glass door, an elderly gentleman beat me to it, opened the door for both myself and my daughter.

“Thank you!” I said with a smile. I hear my daughter’s tiny voice echo her thank yous.

“You’re welcome.” He said smiling back and headed out the door and down the busy street. I love to open the door for people and I am grateful when anyone takes time out of their day to open the door for me. I don’t expect anything said to me when I open the door for someone, if it puts a smile on your face to have the door opened for you then that is great. If I don’t get a thank you, no worries, I wanted to open it for you and that is that. In retrospect, I am grateful when someone does a nice little deed for me. It reminds me that the strangers around us are too, three dimensional who think, feel and are going through things in their life whether it be good or bad.

I like people.

But then I looked down at my daughter. I have spoken to waiters and people in service who are shocked at how today’s youth does not use manners. How many children interrupt or swear at their parents when a service individual has briefly taken their parent’s attention to do their job. Basic manners are not mandatory and definitely not mandated by any law in any country that I am aware of. However, it makes all of our lives a little easier.

As human beings, we are a social creature, but little ‘isms’ and human nuances can get on everyone’s nerves. I get it. I’ve been there. Someone not yielding to the right on an escalator for the quicker walkers to walk passed you is social suicide in some cities. Loud talkers in some countries are considered the norm, whereas in my city and in others, it’s considered extremely rude for everyone to have to hear your conversation. In an age where we are blessed to live with different people, cultures and ideas, we can get on each other’s nerves. We can misunderstand and misinterpret each other. There are literally some cultures who shake their heads from side to side meaning ‘no’ and other cultures that shake their head from side to side meaning ‘yes!’ The confusion and naivetés of one another can cause conflict and therefore can make the world a bit of a more challenging place to live in.

So before the keyboard warriors come out and tell us how I and everyone else can do it better, stop! I have three gifts that you can buy your children or even buy yourself that with a simple investment, will make your life easier. With a very unprofessional and uncertified rating system, I will give you a cost break down and an approximate amount of time for every gift to be properly consumed.

The best part of this is, I don’t even have to provide backlinks to any of these gifts because they’re right in front of you. So, put your credit cards down.

Thankfulness

Beyond the screams of a child in a toy store of the sighs of a preteen because Mom or Dad did not let them buy “this cool app, look, it’s only $3.99” is thankfulness. We can’t blame our children. They come from an instantaneous gratification society, a society that gives them information at their fingertips. I am not advocating for this to be taken away, oh no, I think technology is great for the most part. But when we live in a society where we have advertisements telling us we want something, then your children may see a little snippet on the news, of a Syrian family narrowly avoiding death, of a shooting nearby or something that humanizes them that makes them think “well, this did not happen to me, this does not happen here.” The feelings of life start to flood in, but are immediately interrupted from that text of a friend, a new advertisement or another distraction. Before we ask our children to “Be helpers” as Fred Rogers from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood so eloquently put it, we need to remind our children in an age where it seems everyone gets everything right away, to be thankful.

The best way to teach your children, in my humble opinion is to lead by example. No one wants every outing, every experience to be some lesson or lecture. But when a parent shows thankfulness in front of their children, “I am thankful I got home twenty minutes early today and I was not caught in traffic.” “Just got back from the doctors kids, I am thankful for that clean bill of health.” A child starts to hear that behavior and mimic it. Being thankful for a gift, to live in a safe area, to have a loving family is a wonderful seed to plant. A child must be thankful for what the opportunities they have before they can provide opportunities for others.

To add, saying “Thank you” to others, like people who hold the door for your family, serve you in restaurants or in retail settings, deserves a thank you from you and your children if they were kind and attentive.

The greatest thing about thankfulness is you can start when they are infants. Yes, a parent even speaking to their child is soothing. You can introduce this at any age and I promise, it will help shape your children and also keep you in check in a world that can sometimes seem cruel.

Final Cost: 0

Time: About 5 to 10 seconds for each thankful thought.

1 Minute relaying thoughts to others.

Understanding

Understanding can be a tricky one. I am in no means asking you to teach your children to let every bully walk over them “maybe he or she has a hard life and that is why they punch you in the face every day after school, dear.” Or “this person is trying to get me fired from work but maybe they need to feed their family more than I need to feed mine.” That is not the understanding I am advocating for. Protect yourself!

The understanding I am asking for is for your children to function with others who do not think like them. We have this new opportunity where the whole word is connected, a whole world that has opinions, many of them different from their own. I have traveled a bit over the course of my life and created this global parenting magazine on two premises, celebrating the similarities and embracing the differences of parenting practices worldwide. The whole “we are all the same” movement is nice and all and as a people we do share some amazing similarities in both genetics and thought processes, but it is silly and almost ignorant to ignore the vast differences from culture, people and society. Those differences, though foreign to some, are interesting, beautiful and quite frankly, I prefer it. I prefer my thought processes to be challenged and questioned. It either teaches me something new or helps me reform my original opinion to be stronger. As long as the learning process is healthy, I am all for it.

We must teach our children understanding. People have different needs. We have some children who recognize certain religious practices during the day. In retrospect, we have children who require certain understanding. There are children who are religious, not religious, have different ways of thinking or perception like children with autism. The point is, we think differently and we perceive the world differently. We need to understand each other and learn about different types of people.

So what does that mean? Perhaps enrolling your children in a language class, to have a second language under their belt. It’s a new opportunity for your children to learn about a new culture and make new friends speaking their second language. It could be volunteering at a homeless shelter, so your children can interact with people who live differently than themselves. It could also mean having your children meet other children outside of their regular circles, volunteering at a reading program or if extra time is tight, reading about a new country, culture or religion every night for ten minutes. You don’t have to have your degree or be an expert in a subject to get a sense of understanding.

My mom for a short period of my childhood would grab one of her encyclopedia’s, (yes, the book ones not the ones online) and read us a little snippet of a country, culture or place while we ate breakfast before school. Maybe this is corny but it’s true, I enjoyed it! It must have stuck in my head throughout the years, because even though I may not remember anything she read to us, it planted the seed to learn more about everything, to understand to the best of my ability.

I think understanding comes with educating your children. Whether they are destined for a doctorate in medicine or changing the world with Tool and Dye, education breeds understanding. A combination of books and street smarts is a beautiful thing.

Cost=0

Time= ongoing dedication

Empathy

Do you have that child who wants to adopt every stray animal they find? Do you have a child who does not bully others even if everyone else is doing it? You have raised the empathetic child, one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet. A child who many would say is beyond their years, I would humbly say is right where they are supposed to be. To get their peers to think and to inspire adults to remember.

If your child is none of those things, don’t worry! Empathy can be demonstrated and you can ‘wake up’ your child to think in a different way.

For those parents whose child is not empathetic, with most children, you can lead with example. With children with mental health challenges, leading with example, as you well know, may not work.

But you have to live empathy if there is any hope for your children to be empathetic. Showing empathy for other people’s pain is a gift your child will never know how important it is to have. Empathetic people are the seeds that grow ideas into beautiful plants. When one person, combined with understanding, empathizes with another, it helps build bridges with humanity and not make the gap between human being to human being, even bigger.

How you can express empathy is key. You won’t yell at that waitress who took an extra five minutes to fill up your cup because you can see she is waiting on at least ten other tables and you know this task is next to impossible. So you show and exhibit patience. Yelling never helps anyone anyway. You will donate your clothes to those new immigrants to your country because you know they have never felt a winter like yours and you want them to bundle up and stay warm and cozy as they get to know this new land. You use kind words to others, you hear peoples pain and you respond instead of ignoring. You are alive and you act like it.

Cost: 0

Time: a full time investment at first, but then it comes naturally.

These three gifts are not only a must have for the family, but if you use them as a combo, you can get results far greater than buying into just one. With all three gifts, you give yourself a huge discount in time management!

The media is always talking about role models and who will be the role model for your child? You see celebrities protesting that they just sing songs or act in movies and never asked to be your child’s role model. You know what? They’re right. You never asked them to. You don’t need to because you are their role model. It may not seem like that when they run off with their friends without saying goodbye or are rude sometimes. But they are listening. They are observing. You are the answer to your children getting these three gifts. With a onetime investment on behalf of your children, you can really change their life. I am not promising perfection. But what I am promising is you and your family making a difference, no matter how small, in your community and your world. All cliché aside, stop buying into what people tell you that you need to buy your family and invest in these three gifts for life.