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Monthly Archives: April 2017

Ways You Can help Your Child Learn to Speak a Second Language

1. Remember the earlier, the better. By the age of two, a child’s brain is sucking up and processing all the information he or she comes in contact with, so it’s an ideal time to start learning a second language. You may think, “But he hasn’t even mastered ENGLISH yet!” That’s okay! Believe it or not, children can easily juggle two (or more) languages at once without the difficulty that their adult counterparts may have if they try to learn the same language when they’re older. Learning two separate languages will also not hinder your child’s reading or speaking ability. In fact, it will actually improve and broaden their vocabulary as they get older, since many foreign language words are used in English as well.

2. It is better to teach your child with some simple words and basic greetings first. Learning a language does take time and repetition, so only move on when your child feels comfortable and confident in using what he or she has already learned. If you’re not completely fluent yourself, but still want your child to have the benefit of a second language, purchase a good dictionary and work book to reinforce what you already know so that you can teach it to your child.

3. You can try to make studying language to be a fun time by setting aside a special “Language-Only” time. Practice the language together with your child through music, books or videos and use this time to speak and play together using only the second language. It’s a great way to build up the child’s interest in another culture and will help him learn the language more completely and thoroughly.

4. If your significant other speaks a foreign language, consider having him or her speak only in the foreign language to the child, while you speak to them in English. This will quickly help the child understand each language’s structure and differences, and he won’t be as likely to get confused. Remember though, language learning is a slow by steady process. Let your child know not to worry about making a mistake or sounding silly. That’s the only way he or she will become confident enough to speak the language on a regular basis.

5. Whenever possible, immerse your child in the second language as often as you can. Taking trips to the place where the language is spoken is a great way to make a language feel “real” to a child. Children mimic what they see, so seeing others speak and use the language in their day-to-day lives will show him that he can do the same!

The most important thing of all is to treat learning a second language like a fun “adventure” rather than a tedious chore. If you keep these tips in mind, it won’t be long before your child is equally comfortable and proficient in both languages! Good luck!

 

Too Much Child Care

In today’s economy it is a fact of life that it isn’t always possible to survive on one income. All too often in a family, both parents have to work for a living. When children aren’t involved in the mix this isn’t too big a problem since even if just one of the couple were working they still wouldn’t see each other until the worker came home. But in the case of a child it’s a big difference. With both parents out of the house the child, depending on its age, needs to be cared for. Even a young teenager shouldn’t be left all alone day after day. Teenagers can get into a lot of trouble unsupervised, even for just a couple of hours.

But what about your small child, the one who needs care all day? Certainly finding care isn’t difficult, as there are many daycare centers available. But that isn’t the issue of this article. The issue is the question, “Just how beneficial is constant child care to your child?” This isn’t as easy a question as it appears to answer.

Sure, we can all agree that you can’t leave a 2 year old home alone all day. Yes, the child needs to be cared for if both parents are out of the house working. What needs to be addressed is the pluses and minuses of both parents working, making it necessary for the child to be cared for on a constant basis.

While the psychology of how a child will react to a stranger caring for him as opposed to how that child reacts to his own parent is beyond the scope of this article, it can’t be ignored. Studies show that children that grow up in a home environment with at least one parent caring for them, grow up better adjusted than children who are left to daycare for years on end.

“But we have no choice! We both have to work!” come the screams. Well, actually, you don’t have to both go to work. You choose to both go to work. Big difference. In a democracy like the United States, which is also the worst offender in this case, you are free to work or not work. But that isn’t the issue either. The issue is in doing what’s best for the child.

There are arguments on both ends of the spectrum. There are those who say that if the child is financially provided for and thus has all the “essentials” in life, this will make up for the lack of time that child spends with his parents. Others say that there is no substitute for a mother’s love and children who grow up in daycare centers grow up to be troubled teens.

The arguments will continue. But what the parents can do in order to help insure that their child does grow up to be well adjusted is to spend as much time with the child as possible, even if both have to work.

To balance out the care your child gets between the child care center and yourself, assuming that both parents have to work or in the case of a single parent, there are several things that can be done.

This isn’t always easy, but try to work out a flexible work schedule with your boss. If both parents work a day job maybe you can arrange to have one of the parents working either at night or a staggered shift, say starting at noon and working to 8 or 9. This way one parent will be home with the child most of the morning and the other parent can be home with the child all evening, leaving only a few hours each day that the child is actually in the care of a day center. This may not seem like much but every hour is something.

Another thing a parent can do is see if it is possible to take the child to work with him or her for at least a couple of days a week. Some work places actually have daycare facilities inside. While it is true that the parent will be spending most of the time working and not with the child, there is still the ride to work, lunch and break times and the ride home that they can spend together. Just this little bit of time to break up the day can make a big difference in your child’s disposition, especially if he is old enough to look at the clock on the wall and know that in a short time mommy or daddy are going to be picking him up for a nice lunch together.

If neither of those are an option then there is another alternative that is actually becoming very popular especially among mothers. That option is to become a Work At Home Mom or what is commonly referred to as a WAHM. A work at home mom is just what it sounds like, a mother that does her work out of the house. Today, with the advent of the computer, this is easy to do. There are many legitimate opportunities a mother can find on the Internet that can pay her for the work she does at home, from stuffing envelopes to typing ads. Of course she has to carefully check out each opportunity before getting involved, as there are many scams out there, but once she finds something with a good reputation, usually a company that is a member of the BBBOnline, she should be able to make a decent enough income to justify her staying at home. It may not be as much as what she would make in an office but when you factor in that there are no transportation costs, no lunches to pack, etc., the income may be more than enough to get the family over the hump.

The bottom line is this. We don’t have children to dump them in a daycare center. Children need their parents. There are ways to make that happen. It just takes a little effort and a little compromise.

 

Things You Should Expect From any Child Care Center

1. Open Access To Their Center – Parents must be able to call on or walk in on a daycare center at any time unannounced. The provider should also allow the parent to make any amount of reasonable phone calls in order to check up on their child. The provider and the parent should work out a schedule for those phone calls to find out the times that are best and also agree on how many phone calls in a day are reasonable.

2. Safety For Your Child – The daycare center where your child is staying should be in a safe environment. All possible precautions should be taken to make sure that your child is safe such as, plugging electrical sockets, keeping knives and sharp objects in a safe place and out of reach, closing off stairways and using only safe and well maintained equipment. If your child has to travel, the provider should also use safety seats and seat belts when traveling.

3. Honesty And Confidence – Providers should not promise things that they can’t do. They should be honest about the care that will be given. Also, there should be confidentiality about your child even being there. Nobody should be given any information about your child if strangers should call unless you specifically say it’s okay.

4. Acceptance Of Parent’s Wishes – Centers should make every effort to comply with the wishes of the parents such as the food the child will eat, activities the child will or won’t participate in and any special care that needs to be given to the child. If the parents don’t want people smoking around their child then the environment should be kept smoke free.

5. Advance Notice Of Any Changes – The center should give the parents plenty of advance notice of any changes that are going to take place that may affect the care of the child. This way the parents can make plans to have the child moved to another center if they are not happy with the proposed changes.

6. No Interference In The Child’s Family – The child care provider should not talk to the child about any problems the parents may or may not be having. It is not for the child care provider to meddle in the lives of the family. The first and only responsibility is to care for the child.

7. No Advice Offered And No Judging Of Parenting Practices – If a child care provider does not agree with some of the parent’s methods of raising their child it is none of their business. They are only to offer advice if asked.

8. Assurance That Everyone In Contact With Child Is Trustworthy – If it is a large center and there are many people there then each one should be certified to be trustworthy and safe. A center should take all reasonable precautions when hiring staff and should provide the parents with information on how workers are hired and what screening process everyone goes through.

9. Open Communication – The provider should keep the parents constantly posted of any instances at the center that they should be aware of including the child’s progress or lack of progress. The parents should be kept in the loop regarding all activities the child participates in and those the child has problems with. It should be as if the parent is right there observing.

10. Finally, No Surprises – This means that the provider should not suddenly tell you that they have taken a part time job elsewhere and their teenage daughter will now watch the child. Or if at a center you don’t want to hear that your child’s teacher suddenly disappeared with no reason given.