Archives for March 2009

March’s Giveaway Winner

centri-kid.pngCongratulations to Anne Melancon — the winner of our March 2009 Giveaway!

Anne won one free Crosspoint or Centri-Kid camp registration this summer!

Thanks to everyone who left comments in March!
Be sure to watch for our April 2009 Giveaway … coming tomorrow!

Poison Prevention

33_AAPCCLogo.gifMy 8-month-old, Jack, just recently began crawling which has turned our calm, orderly world completely upside-down. I’d like to say my husband and I were completely prepared and had the entire house child-proofed already, but I’m afraid that’s not the case. So as soon as we realized Jack was mobile, we dedicated a weekend to child-proofing the house as much as possible.

Jack is also teething, therefore everything (and I really do mean everything) goes straight into his mouth. So one of the most important aspects of child-proofing for us at the moment is poison prevention. Check out the following poison prevention tips from the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

Store Poisons Safely.

  • Store medicines and household products locked up, where children cannot see or reach them.
  • Store poisons in their original containers.
  • Use child-resistant packaging. But remember — nothing is child-proof!

Use Poisons Safely.

  • Read the label. Follow the directions on medicines and products.
  • Are children around? Take the product or medicine with you to answer the door or the phone.
  • Lock products and medicines up after using them.
  • Is it medicine? Call it medicine, not candy.
  • Children learn by imitation. Take your medicines where children can’t watch.

Teach Children to Ask First.
Poisons can look like food or drink. Teach children to ask an adult before eating or drinking anything!

If you think someone has been poisoned, call your poison center right away at 1-800-222-1222.

Fun Friday Photo — March 27, 2009

FunFridayPhoto-March26.jpg
6-month-old Harrison says: “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”

Thanks to Tracey R. for this great photo!

Photos wanted! Send us your funny, cute, or just plain fun pictures for our Fun Friday
Photos. Each Friday we will post a new “Fun Friday Photo.” E-mail your photo and a
suggested caption describing the photo to parentlife@lifeway.com. Visit the blog each
Friday to see if your photo was chosen!

What’s on Tonight? TV, Movies, & Our Kids

I love to watch TV! In fact, some of my favorite downtime at the end of the day is getting to watch a favorite show we have recorded or to start a movie.

But with kids, there are often so many things to be careful about regarding the TV shows and movies they watch. We definitely draw boundaries as to the type of shows and movies that our boys watch, but sometimes they hear from friends about other shows and movies we would not let our boys see. So how do you decide what to let your kids watch?

CommonSenselogo.gifOne resource that I have used for evaluating movie and TV content is Common Sense Media. They provide a target age range for every movie and TV show and even video games, books, and music. Common Sense Media gives an age that they evaluate media to be appropriate for and then evaluates content based on several subject categories: Violence; Language; Sex; Consumerism; Drinking, drugs, & smoking; and Message & role models. Check out their evaluation on the new video release of Bolt to get an idea of how their system works.

PTC logo.jpgThe Parents Television Council is another good source for information regarding TV shows and what kids are actually watching. Check out their research on the best and worst TV shows for kids.

No matter what tool you use to evaluate shows and movies, sometimes the best option is to sit and watch shows together and talk about what you are watching. So many times even the best shows or sporting events can have commercials that are violent, sexually charged, or promote alcohol, so the best bet is to be involved and communicate about media with your kids.

Are there other tools you use to evaluate movies and TV shows? What are the best shows that your kids watch?

Baby Boot Camp by Amy Hammond Hagberg

32_Mother_Newborn.jpgFor most first-time mothers, the prospect of caring for a newborn produces serious apprehension. For unwed teenage mothers, that sense of anxiety is multiplied exponentially. To alleviate some of that stress, The Kentucky chapter of the Baptist Nursing Fellowship (KyBNF) developed an innovative program called Baby Boot Camp based on the devotional book of the same title by Rebecca Ingram Powell.
 
During the five-hour seminar, young mothers learn the fundamentals of infant care. Most of the participants have no idea how to care for a baby, so the first component of the program is baby basics. Under the tutelage of a professional nurse, students use lifelike dolls to learn how to hold, feed, burp, bathe, and diaper their own bundles of joy.

The second component of the program focuses on wellness. “We teach them that in order for them to be totally well, they have to be mentally well, spiritually well, and they have to be physically well. In order to take care of themselves and their babies, they have to be happy in life,” says BNF President, Jessica Childers.

At the end of the day the new mother’s get a big surprise … a baby shower! Each of the girls is sent home with a laundry basket overflowing with donated baby supplies. The baskets are so heavy that the girls need help carrying them out.  For many of them, the generosity of strangers is overwhelming.  

The Baby Boot Camp program has been a wild success. To date the KyBNF has held a dozen camps and has reached more than 100 girls and their families. In response, they have just written a “How To” guide for use by other state organizations that are interested in adopting their ministry.

Amy Hammond Hagberg is an author, speaker, radio host, wife, and mother. Amy’s award-winning work has been featured in publications all around the world.  Learn more at www.amyhagberg.com.

Baby Boot Camp is a very special ministry to parents in need. What ministries are you involved in or know of that relate to parenting?

Listening to Our Kids

31_homework.jpgSometimes we spend too much time and energy listening to what experts say we should do as parents. Oftentimes it is our kids who tell us what they need the most!

Proof positive are these real-life student comments submitted by ParentLife writer, Mia Pinson, a middle school teacher in South Carolina. Their assignment was to write down advice they would give their parents to help them be a better student in school.

Listen to what some students said they really want from their parents.

• Help me with homework.

• Don’t ignore me when I ask for help.

• Help me study so I don’t have to make bad grades. I am embarrassed when I do.

• Don’t yell at me when I don’t get my homework.

• Don’t scream at me if I mess up.

• Don’t yell at me to wake me up in the morning. It starts me off in a bad mood.

• Reward me for good grades with a surprise.

• Please congratulate me more.

• Be happy when I make a good grade.

• When I tell you the truth about something, don’t go and try to fix me.

• Spend time with me. Talk to me about school.

• Don’t fuss if I get a C on my report card and I tried my best.

• Don’t make me feel bad because I am not smart.

• Stand up for me. Show other people you are proud of me.

• Show me how to love school.

• Pay more attention to me. Encourage me to do well.

• Thank you for always asking me what my day was like and for trying to understand me.

• Thank you for saying you love me.

This list was humbling to me. I think it shows that, no matter the context, our kids need our love, help, support, and encouragement. And it makes me want to ask my sons, “How could Daddy be a better parent?” I think they would say, “Play with us more!” What do you think your kids would say?

 

Peanut Butter Recall

FDAlogo.pngIf you are a fan of peanut butter, you certainly took notice when the peanut product recall information was hitting the airways. Unfortunately, when the press stopped reporting the recall information, many people assumed the recall was over. There have been new peanut product recalls as recently as last week. Do you know where to go to find the latest information on food recalls?

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration is responsible for issuing recalls on both food and medical products, as well as products that can impact your health, such as cosmetics and other beauty products. Their product recall page keeps an open list of all recalls, market withdrawals, and safety alerts from the last 60 days. There also is a searchable database of past recalls.

The peanut product recalls have been so widespread, the FDA has developed a separate page for all peanut product recall information. This page includes a history of the problem, a searchable listing of all products that have been recalled, and contact information if you need to follow up. On this page, you also can sign up for recall alerts via e-mail or follow e-mail alerts via RSS feeds, Twitter, or their blog.

Has the salmonella outbreak in peanut products impacted you or someone you know?

Fun Friday Photo — March 20, 2009

FunFridayPhoto-March20.jpgAs an only child, Gabriel has learned to amuse himself on long car
rides. On this particular afternoon he was “cleaning out his backpack.”
And yes, that is a Pull-Up® on his head.

Thanks to Shawna W. for this great photo!

Photos wanted! Send us your funny, cute, or just plain fun pictures for our Fun Friday
Photos. Each Friday we will post a new “Fun Friday Photo.” E-mail your photo and a
suggested caption describing the photo to parentlife@lifeway.com. Visit the blog each
Friday to see if your photo was chosen!

iShine LIVE! — Exciting Event for Preteens

30_iShineLIVE.jpgLooking for something fun to do with your preteen this Spring? If so, consider attending an iShine LIVE! event.

iShine LIVE! is a high-energy, 2.5 hour event that is not only
biblically based but is geared just for preteens! The I stands for
Identity, because iShine LIVE! is all about teaching kids to find their
Identity in Christ, as a child of God.

Hosted by Luke Benward, star of How to Eat Fried Worms and Disney’s
Minutemen
, iShine LIVE! features Robert Pierre, The Rubyz, and speaker
Paige Armstrong. There will be a DJ, dancers, live video, and many other
kinds of high energy entertainment all centered on finding your
identity in Christ!

For tour dates and more information, visit the iShine LIVE! Web site.

Have you been to an iShine LIVE! event? Tell us all about it.

Saying Thanks

We most often think about giving thanks during the Thanksgiving holiday. Even though it’s not close to November, today I feel like taking a moment to think about thankfulness.

29_ThankYouNote.jpgI don’t know about you, but I was raised in a home where I was taught to express my thankfulness for gifts by writing thank-you notes. Every Christmas, my brother and I always knew a pack of thank-you cards would be in our stockings. The same was true for our birthdays. My mom was so good about making sure we expressed our appreciation when others showed us kindness. I am so thankful for her example! (Maybe I should write her a thank-you note!)

And while I have not been as consistent about writing thank-you notes as an adult, the basic principle has been established. I still try to do the best I can to show my gratitude even if it’s not in the form of a formal, handwritten note.

Now that I am a mother, setting the example of thankfulness has taken on a new sense of urgency. I want Jack to grow up with a grateful heart and a thankful spirit. I want him to appreciate the importance of saying thank you … not just at Thanksgiving but every day of the year.

Saying thank you is just one of the many social manners we are responsible for teaching our children. Be sure to check out this month’s “Dr. Mom® column for practical strategies for teaching your child to be polite.

What are some fun ways you have taught your children to say thank you? Or what are some creative ways people have shown you thanks?