How To Improve Your Child’s Mood With Colors, by Sandi Schwartz

little girl covered in colorful paint

For thousands of years, color has been thought to have power over our emotions. Artists, interior decorators, fashion designers, and advertising agencies utilize the meaning of different colors to influence human behavior and attract customers. By considering the lessons of these experts, how can we as parents use the science of color to guide our children’s mood? Does the color we paint their rooms really affect how happy they feel or how soundly they sleep?

History of color psychology

Several ancient cultures, including the Egyptians and Chinese, used color for healing purposes as far back as 2,000 years ago. This type of therapy is called chromotherapy, light therapy, or colorology, and is still used today as a holistic or alternative treatment.

It is believed that color therapy uses the visible spectrum of light and color to change a person’s mood and their physical and mental health. Each color is part of a specific frequency and vibration that can affect certain energy, or chakras, in our body.

Practitioners also believe that certain colors entering the body can activate hormones causing chemical reactions that ultimately influence emotion and help the body heal. Red, for example, is used to stimulate the body and mind and to increase circulation. Orange heals the lungs and increases energy levels. Blue treats pain, while indigo cures skin problems. Finally, green relaxes patients who are emotionally unbalanced and yellow invigorates those suffering from depression.

How color impacts mood

Psychologists have found that color can influence how we feel and can even cause physiological changes in our body. Keep in mind, however, that there are different interpretations of color’s impact on emotions depending on culture and circumstance.

Research shows that certain colors can increase blood pressure, metabolism, and adrenaline. Other studies have found that certain colors can improve sleep habits, boost memory, and enhance academic performance. One study discovered that seeing the color red before taking a test can hurt performance. Students who were shown a red number before taking the test scored more than 20 percent lower than those shown a green or black number.

Just as color influences our mood, it can also be used to describe how we feel. A study reported in the journal BMC Medical Research indicated that people with depression or anxiety were more likely to associate their mood with the color gray, while happier people preferred yellow.

Researchers at the University of California determined that young children chose bright colors to represent positive feelings and dark colors for negative feelings. They were even able to identify how specific colors made the children feel: red is for mad, blue is for sad, yellow is for happy, and green is for glad. Color can therefore be a very helpful tool in accessing children’s emotions instead of relying on them to tell us how they feel.

Institutions like the American Red Cross, St. Jude’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Scholastic incorporate this ability to connect feelings to colors as a way to better understand the emotions of young children. So if our children tell us they feel gray or blue, are seeing red, or feel green with envy, we will know what they are talking about can guide them through their emotions.

What each color means

Over time, studies have shown how different colors impact us in unique ways. Warm colors, such as red, yellow, and orange, stimulate emotions ranging from comfort and warmth to hostility and anger. Typically, warm colors make us feel happy and cozy. Bold shades of warm colors also help stimulate our mind and energize our body.

On the other hand, cool colors, like blue, green, and purple, relax us, but can also make us feel sad, especially if they are too dark. Despite their soothing nature, cool colors are not always welcoming and can leave people feeling removed and distant. Here’s a bit more about the impact and symbolism of colors:

Red

  • Excites and energizes the body, increases heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration
  • Creates alertness and excitement
  • Encourages creativity
  • Increases appetite
  • Can increase athletic ability, causing people to react with greater speed and force
  • Associated with increased aggression, an inability to focus, and headache
  • May be disturbing to anxious individuals

Pink

  • Evokes empathy and femininity
  • Creates a calming atmosphere
  • Can become irritating over time, leading to anxiety

Yellow

  • Associated with positive feelings of happiness and motivation
  • Encourages creativity
  • Soft, subtle yellows promote concentration
  • Bright shades stimulate the memory and increase metabolism
  • Too much can lead to anger and frustration

(To read more of this article, please follow the link below…)

How to improve your child’s mood with colors

7 Ways to Build Stronger Connections with Your Kids (Even When You’re Busy), by Kathryn Trudeau

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Dr. Harley Rotbart, author of No Regrets Parenting, reminds us that there are only a mere 940 Saturdays from your child’s birth day until the day he or she turns 18 years old. Nine hundred and forty. That’s it. The statistic is enough to make you start planning family outings and picnics from now until 2026.

But… I have a complaint. Nine hundred and forty days is not nearly enough to bond and create enough memories to last a lifetime. As parents, we are blessed with 6,570 days from birth until the age of 18, why not take advantage of each and every one of those days? Sure, the weekdays are busy, crazy, messy, and loud, but that’s no reason to relegate all the bonding to just Saturdays.

Here are seven ways to build stronger connections with your kids, even when you’re crazy busy:

Reading together.

Studies consistently show that reading to children promotes healthy brain development and improves literacy skills. Reading, however, can be as much of a bonding experience as a learning experience.

Try to carve out at least 10 minutes a day to read together. Even reading a short bedtime story can do wonders for reconnecting with your child during a busy workweek. Have a pre-teen or teen? Let them choose a chapter book and read it together, even if it’s just a few pages per night.

Connect at bedtime.

With babies and young toddlers, parents often fuss over finding the perfect bedtime routine to get baby to sleep, but bedtime is just as important for older children too. Bedtime is a great opportunity to reconnect with your kids, especially after a busy day.

As you tuck your child into bed, give him or her an extra hug or cuddle. Hum a lullaby that reminds your child of when he or she was a baby. Listen if your child has any last minute stories or questions.

It’s all too easy to rush bedtime in order to have a few minutes of peace to ourselves – believe me, I know. But some of the best moments of the day are hidden in the soft, sweet moments between awake and slumber.

Touch.

Both parent-instincts and science tell us that loving touch is important. From building self-esteem and boosting brain development, gentle caressing or loving touches can also help build connections with our kids. Touch is extremely easy to sneak into busy schedules.

  • Exchange a secret handshake as you pass each other in the hallway.
  • A hug first thing in the morning, before departing each other, upon reuniting, before bed.
  • A kiss on the forehead as you serve dinner
  • Cuddling together on the couch as you unwind with a show at night (or… a book).
  • A pat on the back for a job well done.

To read more of this article, please follow the link below…

7 Ways to build Stronger Connections With Your Kids (Even When You’re Busy)

Six things every parent should know about Pokémon Go, by Christian Gallen

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For the first time in history you may hear your kids complain that it’s raining so they can’t go outside and play video games. This is the parents’ guide to the newest social phenomenon that has taken over the world.

1. What is Pokémon Go?

You have probably come across Pokémon before. It’s Japanese for ‘pocket monsters’. You may even be familiar with Pikachu. Pokémon has been around for ages and spans video games, TV shows, a trading card game and now has become super popular because of the smart phone app, Pokémon Go. Chances are your kids are playing it!

2. How does it work?

Pokemon-Go-001-292x300The basic idea of the game is that you travel around the real world and find Pokémon using your device. There are 250 different types of Pokémon out there. If your kid comes home excited about catching Bulbasaur there’s nothing to worry about. It’s not a drug or a disease. It’s a grass type Pokémon with razor leaf attack. You collect them and battle against other users. Your kid doesn’t need hand-eye coordination to catch Pokémon – just a fully-charged smartphone and access to the internet.

This week I saw a group of teenagers running laps around a park with their phones in front of their faces. They were outdoors with their friends, they were exercising and they were playing a video game all at the same time. Weird.

(To read more of this article, please follow the link below…)

http://www.theparentingplace.com/blogs/a-parents-guide-to-pokemon-go/

All you need is Love Bombing, by Oliver James, psychologist

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In March 2010 I received an email from Miranda. She wrote that her son Tim, nine, “seems to not like himself and has no focus. He says he hates himself and that he’s rubbish at everything”. A bright boy, Tim refused to do his homework and was prone to temper tantrums.

The solution I proposed was love bombing, a method I developed to reset the emotional thermostats of children aged three to puberty. It entails spending a period of time alone with your child, offering them unlimited love and control. It works for a wide variety of common problems, severe or mild; from defiant – even violent – aggression to shyness, sleeping problems or underperformance at school.

This is not the same as “quality time” – just hanging out with your child. When you love bomb, you create a special emotional zone wholly different from normal life, with new rules. More than 100 families have tried it, nearly all with positive results.

So, how exactly does it work? First, you explain to your child that, sometime soon, the two of you are going to spend time together, one to one, and have a lot of fun. Your child is going to decide what they want and when they want it, within reason. You give the message that this is going to be a Big Event: It’s Coming Soon … How Exciting! The child then draws up a list of things to do. It doesn’t matter if it includes lots of SpongeBob SquarePants: the key is that your child has chosen it.

Throughout the experience, you are trying, as much as possible, to give them the feeling of “whatever I want, I get” – of being in control and of being gratified, as well as bombed with love.

You may be thinking: Is he mad? My child is a tyrant – rewarding him like that is just going to make it even worse! This is understandable. Love bombing seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom, which often recommends more control, not less, when a child is not complying, and stricter, firmer reactions to undesirable behaviour.

(To read more of this article, please follow the link below…)

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/sep/22/oliver-james-love-bombing-children

6 Ways We (Accidentally) Teach Our Kids Rape Culture, by Joanna Schroeder

A cute 5 year old female child dressed in pink plaid shirt with blue jeans staring out into the rodeo arena dreaming of riding horses one day. The image has a vintage / western coloring theme with left side copy space.

No parent (that I’ve ever met) would ever dream of teaching their child that rape is okay. But every day, in many different ways, well-meaning parents contribute to rape culture, and our kids suffer for it.

As moms and dads, we probably don’t talk directly about rape to kids, at least not until they’re older. But we’re still sending messages about sex and consent all the time. Because of that, we need to make sure we’re not teaching them some very dangerous lessons, even if just by accident.

Here are six (very common) ways we get it wrong, and how we can do better …

1. Telling our kids that “boys will be boys.”

As a mom of very active boys, I know most people don’t mean any harm when they say “boys will be boys,” but too often that phrase is used to excuse bad behavior, like hitting other kids or being destructive.

The truth is, boys are perfectly capable of respecting other people’s bodies,possessions, and space. But every time they hear us excuse their bad behavior as part of boy life, they learn that they are not only above the rules, but also that boys cannot control their impulses.

This message will stick with them as they grow older and sexual desire starts to kick in. As parents, we cannot be shocked that boys feel entitled to sexually harass others (whether it’s standard rape, like in Steubenville, or as part of the all-too-common tradition of sexual “hazing”) when we’ve been telling them their whole lives that they are above the rules, by virtue of being boys.

2. Forcing kids to hug and kiss others.

Lots of well-meaning, loving parents tell their kids to give a friend or relative a hug without considering whether their kid really wants to. This sends the dangerous message that consent can be over-ridden, or doesn’t matter at all.

Instead, suggest a few different ways to greet or say goodbye to loved ones. I ask my kids, “Do you want to give grandma a hug, or maybe a high five or a wave goodbye?”

Kids need to know, from the beginning of life, that consent matters.

 

(To read more of this article, please follow the link below…)

http://www.babble.com/parenting/ways-we-accidentally-teach-our-kids-rape-culture/

Helping Siblings to get along…. using photos and/ or videos! By Jim and Lynne Jackson

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Ever feel like the moments where your kids actually like each other are few and far between? Or like deep down they love each other, but they forget as their connection gets lost in the shuffle of sibling conflict and craziness?

Lynne was worried about that very thing when parenting her three intense kiddos who fought all the time — so she decided to change the narrative and help her kids remember that they like each other, all with the use of photos! Watch the video to hear why and how she did it:

Quick Notes:

  •  Capture (via photos or video) moments when kids are loving, enjoying and caring for each other.

(To read more, follow the link below…)

http://connectedfamilies.org/2015/12/18/how-to-help-kids-like-each-other-with-photos/?utm_source=Parenting+Tips&utm_campaign=17c8caf731-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_Daily&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9761ad5dc1-17c8caf731-59227453

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Raising Grateful Kids In An Entitled World by Kristen Welch: A Book Review by Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson reviews this interesting book…how do we lower our kids’ “sense of entitlement” and create an an “attitude of gratitude”?

Raising Grateful Kids

‘We are THAT family’. It’s a blog that caught my eye about a year ago and since then I’ve enjoyed reading blogger Kristen Welch’s real accounts of the ups and downs of family life. Because we are THAT family too. You know, the ones that lose library books and have hairbrush, sock and pyjama monsters in our house. So when this book became available for review, I jumped at the chance to review it. How to move children from entitlement to gratitude is such a key issue for our generation. We all know that children today often have so much. As a parent of three children I struggle to get the balance right between giving my children opportunities but not spoiling them on the other hand. This is such a thought-provoking topic, and a timely one too, being Christmastime and all.

Author Kristen Welch has also published Rhinestone Jesus (

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3 Holiday Safety Tips for Kids, by Ginger Kadlec

Xmas Kds Collage

With the holidays upon us, families and friends are getting together to celebrate the season.

Sadly, this is also a time of year when sexual predators capitalize on opportunities to prey on kids.

While many may think we only need to worry about strangers harming our kids, we should all keep in mind that the true danger lies in our own circles of trust. Here are some sobering facts all parents should know about sexual predators…

  • Nine (9) out of 10 children who are sexually abused know, love or trust the people abusing them.
  • This means it’s highly likely that the PARENTS also know the predator harming their child.
  • Approximately 30% of children who are sexually abused are molested by a member of their family (e.g., parent, step-parent, grandparent, sibling, cousin, aunt, uncle, etc.).
  • Around 40% of sexually abused children are abused by older or more powerful kids. (Source:Darkness to Light)

Then 10-year old Chaucie Quillen was first molested by her father during Thanksgiving in the presence of family.

Chaucie Quillen, a young girl who’s father sexually abused her for several years and the namesake for Chaucie’s Place Child Advocacy Center, was first groomed by her father while in the presence of relatives during Thanksgiving 1985. From a story run by Indianapolis Monthly in 1999

Her father first molested her at age 10, as they sat on a couch sharing a blanket and watching TV. Chaucie later said she thought the groping by her father was “okay” because her sister, brother, mother and grandmother were all nearby.

Researcher and therapist Cory Jewell Jensen shared in a seminar I attended about sexual offenders that many predators will groom children in the presence of others as it enhances their “thrill” of getting away with it… just as Chaucie’s father Phillip Quillen did. Jewell Jensen also cites in her research shared with Oprah.com other facts about incest predators:

  • They sexually abuse their own children, but can also abuse other relatives and neighbors.
  • They can be sexually attracted to children or offend because they are seeking ‘intimate’ contact with another person regardless of relationship, age or vulnerability.
  • Some don’t understand and others don’t care that they are hurting the child.
  • Most have multiple victims both inside and outside of their immediate family.
  • Some abuse both boys and girls in various age groups.
  • Most appear normal and demonstrate no noticeable pathology.
  • Few have criminal records.
  • Most report that they were repeatedly able to talk family and friends out of reporting them and continued to offend.
  • Many are likely to re-offend without ‘treatment.’

3 Holiday Safety Tips for Kids

As the holidays can be prime hunting season for predators, it’s important to review these three (3) holiday safety tips with your kids:

1) You DON’T have to hug cousin Sidney or sit on Uncle Bill’s lap! Before you head to grandma’s for Thanksgiving turkey or have friends over for the holidays, reinforce with your kids that they don’t have to give hugs or kisses to anyone they don’t want to… and that you will ‘have their back’ on that decision! If someone gets upset, be your kid’s hero, intervene and say, “We are teaching our kids personal boundaries right now, but I would LOVE a hug”… then YOU go hug that relative or friend. It’s also totally fine for your child to decline an invitation to sit on someone’s lap. Forcing children to hug, kiss or come into physical contact with others flies in the face of body safety rules all parents should be reinforcing with their kids. Instead, offer your child the option of giving high-fives or handshakes when they greet people.

By the way, this applies to sitting on Santa’s lap, too… if your child doesn’t want to do it, don’t force him/her to.

(To read more, go to the following link…)

http://www.beakidshero.com/posts/3-holiday-safety-tips-for-kids/?utm_source=Ginger+Kadlec%3A+BeAKidsHero%E2%84%A2+Newsletter&utm_campaign=b058772ec5-Link_between_animal_and_child_abuse_2015-06&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ef7c99686b-b058772ec5-186551997

Road Safety and Your Child – Some Helpful Ideas, by John Somerfield, Senior Constable and School Community Officer, New Zealand Police

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Parents have a huge part to play in influencing our next generation of road users. If you are reading this, that probably means you care about the safety of your child and want the best for them.

Helmets

A helmet should be worn while doing any adventure activity.  Cycling, scootering, or rock climbing. Your child’s helmet needs to be the right type for the activity.

A helmet should be the right size and shape for you child’s head right now. Heads grow slow, so make sure it fits now. It should be a snug fit, even before you have done up the straps.

Bikes

bike-riding-628739If  you are looking at getting another bike for your child,  think quality. You can find great bikes that are pre-loved. You can always put a new seat or other part onto the bike. Don’t buy a huge bike just so they can use it when they are twenty.

In New Zealand, bikes need a few things by law. They need a red rear  reflector,  good  brakes  front  and  back,  good  tyres,  and  they need reflectors on the pedals.

Just  grab the spray lubricant  and get  those parts  and brakes moving again. Don’t get it on the wheels or brake pads. Keep those tyres  pumped  up  at  the  service  station  to  the  amount  allowed,  as written on the side of the tyre. This makes cycling more fun and you get less punctures.

In New Zealand, if bike wheels are around 35 cm in diameter or less, kids are legally allowed to ride on the footpath. Therefore anything larger needs to be ridden on the road, leaving the footpaths for pedestrians.  The problem is when your young child is riding a larger bike. If they need to go on the footpath for their own safety, they will need to slow down and give way to all pedestrians and sneaky driveways.

Shoes

Good shoes should  always be  worn  on  bikes  and  scooters.  Scooter  brakes heat  up a lot  and will burn your child’s  foot  if  good shoes are not worn.

$_35Christmas Gifts that are great for safety

A new helmet, cycle gloves, sunglasses, a bell or a bright shirt.

Cars

Let’s use the back seat first for our kids.  BUT – Remember that the lap belt is not a very safe option. You could use an H harness with the lap belt to make it safe. Consider using the front seat for the older kids and moving the front seat back as far as it goes to stay away from any airbags.

Booster seats or booster pads are designed to do three things: they keep the seat belt across the shoulder; keep the belt across the hips, not the tummy and they let the knees bend nicely.  Your kids should be using some form of booster until they are about 148 cms in height.

Your  beautiful  child  should  never  get  out  of  the  car  onto  the roadway. Even if they need to climb over something, they should always get out onto the footpath side.

Walking

Always wait  for  your young child  on the school  side of  the street.  Children  have  been hurt  and  killed  while  crossing  the  road looking at their parent.

Cars

You must not  stop on yellow lines. Yellow lines are No-Stopping lines. These have been put on the road to keep everyone safe. In New Zealand the fine is $60 for stopping on yellow lines, even to drop off or pick up.

The  law  says  you  cannot  park  in  any  driveway  outside  the boundary  of  your  property.  You  cannot  obstruct  the  footpath.  You cannot park over any driveway including your own. In New Zealand the fine is $40 for any of these offences.

General

The most dangerous times for children near roads includes rushing into the school grounds in the morning and even more so as they are leaving school. They are often running, not taking notice of the traffic and, generally, it is difficult to predict what they will do next.

Parents  have  the  power  to  keep  cars  further  away  from schools,  to  keep everyone safe. We should be looking at how we are doing things and we should take the time to do things right… for the sake of our kids’ safety.

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7 Ways To Help Your Kids Embrace Kindness – By Lucy Martial

A good article with seven great practical ways to encourage kindness in the everyday lives of our kids.

Kindness Blog

7 Ways To Help Your Kids Embrace Kindness - By Lucy Martial

For many years, it has been thought that children are born to be altruistic.

The theory was that children quickly realize that being kind gets them what they want. They then understand the correlation between kindness and praise. Finally, they begin to recognize the signs of when others need help and enjoy the sense of reward that they get from helping.

However, a recent study by researchers at Stanford University has suggested that this may not be the case. They claim that, instead of being a natural instinct, kindness is formed by social and parental relationships.

So, where does this leave us? Whatever you believe, there is no doubt that a parent’s influence shapes their children’s attitudes. Here are seven simple things that you can do for your child to help them embrace a kinder outlook in life.

  1. Be aware of your actions

You are your child’s ultimate role…

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