Parenting and Raising Great Kids

Raising Great Kids Successfully - read the below articles and return for more as they are written:

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Your Kids Learn Early Start Them Out Right!
Early Reading Tactics
Are Kids Getting Seriously Ill Earlier in Life?
Kid's Lunch Ideas
Things to do With Your Kids to Show You Care
Fun Summer Stuff for Kids

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Sportsmanship Teach Your Kids Early

Sportsmanship is an important concept to teach your child. He needs to learn to not only win gracefully, but to lose gracefully. Face it there will be many times when he will "lose" and he needs help from you in order to deal with it. A gracious loser and winner are looked up to, and respected.

When playing a game or competing, stress the fact that it is played for FUN not just to win. Let the child know he should do his BEST in the game, but not to stress out over winning. The fun is what is important. If you push the child to win, the fun leaves the effort, and at that point, is it really worth it? Teach your child to tell the other players, both on his team and on the opposing team, "good luck" or "good job" or "congratulations." Don't ever allow the child to make fun of a low finish, and try not to term anything as "last place" just the fact that the child tried, and competed, means the child did more than other kids who would not try, and is still a WINNER for putting out effort, as long as he did TRY his best at that time.

Granted, sometimes doing one's best is not going to happen under pressure, for any number of reasons during the event. Some days a good performance is not meant to be. That is OK, and let your child know that. Let her know that you and she and her coach all know she can "do it" but for that one moment of that day, she couldn't. So what? It is only a minute, or an hour, or a day of the child's whole life it is not a measure of her ability or place in life. Celebrate the effort. You can talk about how she did, when she is feeling up to it, to try to figure out what went wrong, but don't dwell on it. Use it as a constructive learning experience, to help with the next time. It can teach a valuable lesson for the future.

My little one is an ice skater, and in one competition, she came out of a spin and got lost in her program the people were seated on the opposite side as at our rink, which threw her off. She finally just went out and finished her program, which was actually pretty good after her initial panic (with the exception of a fall when going too fast to catch up toher music). We talked about it later, and figured out that she will practice her programs from both ends of the rink from then on, to rid herself of the reference. The other "fix" we came up with it to have her know that if she is confused and goes the wrong way, it is OK just keep going and re-orient as she is skating. She just needs to keep on going, with no worry, and figure out her placement as she continues her program. She has learned to be very mature in her decisions, after that mistake. She forgot a jump in a later program, and had the sense to throw it in at another spot, rearranging 3 jumps in total, but getting them all in, and without flaw no one but her coach knew she had done that. She won first place with a strong, flawless program. She might not have been able to do that, without the problems from the "lost" program.

Don't give the child excuses. Don't let the child think he would have won, had it not been for something. Don't blame the judges or referees. Don't blame another child for "sabotaging" your child's performance. Life isn't always fair, or always black and white neither are sports. Mistakes happen, and it's not worth stressing over. Stress the enjoyment of just playing.

Tell the child to smile, have fun, do his best. Tell your child you are proud of him, no matter what, as long as he tries. His best effort that day may not be the best you have seen, but that is his best at that time. Even Michelle Kwan could not pull off her personal best at the Olympics, or at the Worlds. Everyone has a day like that, or two, or more. No one is flawless every time.

At awards, make sure your child knows to participate, and to smile in the pictures. Believe me, when a 4th place person who is bitter has her picture taken, you can see the anger and the picture lasts forever in other people's photograph books. It is far better to teach the child the grace in losing, and to be happy to have tried. The picture will show a wonderful story about a child who is special. People will remember the kindness and grace about your child whenever they look at her smiling photo.

Make sure the child, and you, do not fall into the trap of telling others how they placed, if results are posted. The kids must see for themselves how they did. It is not fair to any child to have someone else tell him his placement. It is not fair to have a child refer to anyone's placement as "last place" the person in that position is already probably disappointed and needs no reminder or "dig."

In one competition, there was a skater ("A") who got pushed up to an event several hours before she was scheduled (due to a problem in the original schedule). She wasn't mentally ready, and did not do very well. When the results came out, another skater and her mother were at the results, and saw that "A" got 7th out of 7 places. Both the mother and daughter felt compelled to echo to "A" that she got "last place." "A" didn't even get to see the results, and her eyes teared up. I saw this and stood up to that mom and said "there is NO last place - ALL these kids who try out there are winners." Then "A" gave me a little smile and felt a bit better. An additional note to this is that it is NOT anyone's place to tell someone their score or placement unless asked to - the competitor has the right to see his or her own results before anyone else - to reflect on it, take pleasure in it, or go off and cry about it - let each child have his or her own moment with the results.

If your child has a bad attitude or a tantrum from a placement (perhaps not getting a first place once again), pull him out and talk to him. Tell him this type of behavior is not acceptable. Give him some sort of choice perhaps not to compete in the next event or perhaps remind him that if he isn't having fun, then this competition is not worth it. Tell him you are proud of how he did, and first place is not the only goal. Remind him that there are 6 kids, and only one (perhaps two in a tie) can have a first place the rest don't get it. In any case, do not let the sour behavior keep happening. Nip it right away. Do not let the attitude be shown to the child who did win. There was one competition where a skater came up to my daughter and said "you stole my first place!" - and her mother didn't say anything, she just told her daughter "you probably should have gotten first place, let's go get you some Dippin' Dots."

Don't let your child belittle anyone else - don't let him or her discount anyone's efforts. Try to teach your child to be encouraging to others. Once one of the skaters came to my daughter after my daughter had been on the harness practicing a jump. This was a milestone for my daughter; her first time on the harness. The other skater said to her "I saw you on the harness - it's no big deal, I've been working on it for a year." This was so cruel to my daughter - taking away from a major accomplishment. This was a calculated move on that skater's part - she'd only been working on the harness for a few weeks. This is the same skater from the previous paragraph.

If a child is nervous before competing, try to calm her down. Tell her to focus on some aspect she can focus on. Tell her to forget the people, don't look at them. Pretend it's a practice. Get the pressure off remember how Sarah Hughes won the Olympic gold medal in figure skating? She had no pressure, nothing to lose, so she gave it her all. She had never skated that well before, and perhaps cannot again for some time. She focused, and had no thinking of a gold medal, no pressure.

Don't let your child start to do the cat calls, the taunting, the cursing at the other team or competitors. This is poor sportsmanship, and will reflect on his performance. People won't respect him when his turn comes up. Teach your child to politely clap for each competitor - even if one does a bad job - to have no one care or show support when a child has done his best, or even his worst, does hurt.

If you will teach your child the proper etiquette of sportsmanship early in life, it will carry on to other aspects of his life. He will seem more mature about his defeats in every way, and it will benefit him forever. Be sure to give a good example of yourself being a good sport, for the child to model behavior from. It will probably benefit you, as well.


P. Roe has a daughter who is a competitive figure skater and must deal with good and bad sportsmanship on a continual basis.
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Fun Summer Stuff for Kids

Summer break from school - there are lots of things you can do with and for your child to help him or her have a great summer off! Keep your child plenty occupied, but leave some alone time for regrouping oneself after an active day. If you can keep your kids busy a lot of the time, you can help keep them out of trouble as well.

Sign your child up for a camp - can be away at another location for a week or two, or can be for several hours per day. If going to a day camp, make sure he has transportation both ways. See if he can stay at the camp location for a bit longer than when it lets out if you ahave to pick him up late. Make sure hbrings a book or some toy to keep him occupied while waiting for his ride. Camp ideas include Christian camp, soccer camp, figure skating or hockey camp, tennis camp, hiking camp, toddler activity camp, gymnastics or other sport-type camp. Check with area places to see programs going on - like at museums, or at movie theaters, or gardens, or ice rinks, or recreation centers, scenic tourist areas, swimming pools, etc.

Perhaps your child wants to learn something and get registered in a class - try a pottery class, art class, gymnastics or swim or other sport class, yoga, sewing, Red Cross babysitting class, etc. Some schools offer summer school - maybe your child wants to do more schooling, or could use to get more help before going back in his class. There are classes for acting, for singing, dancing, band, theater, horseback riding, and more.

Summer is a great time to get an older child, perhaps 12 years old, to babysit and earn money. Get her into a Red Cross class and then help out families who have working parents but need someone to watch their kids. There are other ways to earn money, as well. Mow lawns for people, walk dogs, pet & home care when someone is away. Help small shops to inventory their goods. Help a small shop to reorganize and clean up their items from dust. Set up a lemonade stand when there is something going on that people would drive by. Offer to hand out fliers for peoplein business, or even get a job walking around with a sandwich sign. All these must be age appropriate and in areas that are safe for the child.

Have your child volunteer somewhere - at an animal shelter to perhaps help feed the animals or walk them, or wash them, etc. Work on Vacation Bible School staff to teach kids about Jesus. Work on a food line at a local church or mission to feed the homeless. Help an elderly or disabled person to get their stuff done or just offer them an ear to listen or a shoulder to lean on.

Get your child on a team or involved in a sport. It can be an individual sport if your child has other ways to interact with other kids. Team sports are great for kids to get behind each other and support each other. Being on a swim team is good - kids get better at swimming - much better than if taking classes from a rec center. They make friends and get strong. They burn calories and get conditioned. Softball, soccer, and other team sports do the same thing. Make it fun to work at getting healthy and active.

If you are able to take the time and spend the money, take your child to a day at an amusement park, or a water park. Take a hike, ride bikes, do archery, ice skate, walk the dogs - just do anything with your child to let her know you care and are part of her life. Talk while you do these things, or at least while on the way to and from, or while standing in lines.

Remember to arrange ply dates with other friends for your child - make sure she doesn't lose contact with friends she's made. Keep them playing - it helps because other kids will continue to play with other friends and bond more, which may leave your child out of the group once school starts.


P. Roe has a daughter who is a competitive figure skater and must deal with good and bad sportsmanship on a continual basis.
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Your Kids Learn Early Start Them Out Right!

Did you know that your child developed his preference for sweets while still in the womb? Did you know that the way you discipline and model for him early on will help shape him later?

It's proven that a child will learn a lot of traits early in life, as early as while still in the womb. The craving for sweets begins when the baby is pulling nutrients from the mother. If she eats lots of candy and sweetened foods, the craving will carry through. It is suggested that the pregnant mother eat healthy with lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. I ate a lot of broccoli, tangerines, bananas, carrots and other foods all through pregnancy. Guess what my daughter's favorite foods are now? I also used a grinder to grind down broccoli, prunes, carrots, etc. I did not feed her "baby food" which is overly sweetened. To this day, she does not like candy very much, and is able to be trusted keeping her Halloween candy in her room she doesn't eat it more than a piece every 3-4 days. Keep the sweets away before and after birth and you'll help your child have great self control.

There are other things you can work on early in life, to keep him from complaining later. Put sunglasses on him when a baby, every time you go out in the sun. It will be a natural feeling for him to keep the glasses on, and he'll likely grab them on his own later. Same goes for a hat and sunscreen. Start early and be consistent. Praise him when he thinks of it himself.

What about fashion trends and following others? You can always build up your child's self-esteem and not let her watch all the pop groups singing. Without condemning their mode of dressing, let the child know it's not very flattering and you do not want her to dress that way because she is so pretty and special the way she is. She might feel good enough to have her own mind and not need to simply follow. Keep the compliments flowing and let the child be empowered to make her own decisions the ones that are safe to make a decision on. Granted, some children are born followers, but you can help her be more of a leader of her own self. My daughter speaks up without fear and believes in what she has to say. She doesn't follow clothing trends and is totally comfortable dressing in her hand me downs and 2nd hand clothes we've bought.

So, as you can see, you can influence your child's behavior and preferences very early on the trick is to start early, be consistent, and do it with lots of praise and love. Your child will be better equipped to make the better decisions in life, starting early. And you'll be happier and proud!


P. Roe represents only safe products and is concerned with our kids and society. See for safe non-toxic products. Stuff for Babies at
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Early Reading Tactics

Children can learn to read early if you encourage it - be supportive, and encouraging, and show them how.

Start early with identifying letters - use the puzzles to have them see which letters go where, and keep naming them, over and over. Have her identify them whenever you go out - in the store, on signs, in books. Carry books everywhere with you and read to your child a lot. Show that you read, as well, so there is a role model to copy. In everything your child does, use a lot of praise for getting something right, or for even trying. Make sure he knows you are proud of his efforts.

When the child gets a bit older, play games. Whenever I drove with my little one, I had her identify what is on signs - the letters at first. When she understood sounds that related to letters, I challenged her to sound out what is on a sign - and sometimes she got a whole word - which became more of a routine. When she could read better, I challenged her to read a whole sign before we drove by - and her reading became faster. I was never anything but excited - I never pushed it - it was always in fun. We also played the ABC game - while driving, find A, then a B, then a C - all the way through. This helped her learn the order of the letters. This is still one of her favorite driving games. Now we play it going backward, finding Z then Y, etc. She is getting a good idea of the relation between letter placements.

Give your child fun, sing-songy books that rhyme. If he likes the story, he will soon memorize it, and then begin to "read" it to you. This is a first step in reading - and eventually he will relate exactly which word relates to which written word. One day he'll read something else with the same words, and he will recognize and know them. You can also give the child a personalized book, that has his name in it - he'll be SO proud of his own story - and that can motivate him to read, as well.


P. Roe represents only safe products and is concerned with our kids and society. See for safe non-toxic products. Stuff for Babies at
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Reading Solutions for Kids

Learn to Read-Kindergarten
Learn to Read-1st Grade
Learn to Read-2nd Grade

Are Kids Getting Seriously Ill Earlier in Life?

Have you noticed the higher rate of incidence of childhood illnesses - including cancer and asthma? There are kids who are intolerant to many conditions and products around them. There are more allergies and sensitivities. Why is that? It's partly because of there being more people on earth, and more medical records being kept - but it's also due to changes in our lifestyles and products we use.

Our earth's soil has been largely depleted of important nutrients, so our foods do not have what is needed anymore. The fresh foods are often several days or even weeks old before we can get them at the grocers. Every minute or hour we wait to eat a fruit or vegetable after picking - they lose more of the nutrients. Complicate this with adding harmful pesticides on the fruits, vegetables and grains. Foods that are processed lose important nutrients, as well. There are a lot of empty calories in what many people eat. Try to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables - raw is better - and as close to picking as possible. Eat grains - not white flour products and breads. Use skins of the fruits and vegetables when you can - many nutrients are still there. If you cook them, try steaming rather than boiling. That will retain more nutrients.

We now have more pollution in the air and water. Many children react to air pollution and environments with smokers - and get asthma. Contaminated water can cause a huge number of health problems.

The products we use regularly can cause problems - many are made with potentially harmful ingredients which can cause all kinds of problems. Many of these ingredients are used as "fillers" in everyday products. Many of the fillers are made from petroleum by-products and are the same as used in many automotive products, such as antifreeze or engine degreasers.

There are many kids who are sensitive to products, soaps, and other products. The symptoms these kids experience are such that many doctors misdiagnose - and treat the symptoms rather than finding the cause. If the child is taken away from the problem products, he might lose all the symptoms and be fine. Many mothers are turning to making their own soaps and products that their children can tolerate, for this very reason.

One way to find out if there are sensitivities is to pull all irritants away - feed him only bland foods for awhile, and get him to a bedroom with no carpets or pets or dust, and use pure soaps and lotions. Once he's had several days adjusting, and he seems to be doing fine, introduce one new food or situation at a time. If he reacts to the dog or to eggs or to the bubble bath - make note and keep him away from that from then on. If you cannot get him to a normal state by taking all irritants away, consult your doctor - to find out about potential toxins in your home, click here.


P. Roe represents only safe products and is concerned with our kids and society. See for safe non-toxic products. Stuff for Babies at
Stuff for Kids at
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