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Here are some great tips for eating out with kids and enjoying the experience. Children learn and gain confidence as they develop social skills and manners. Learning restaurant manners at an early age will get your child off to a good start. Prepare for a stress-free outing by using these simple tips.
Make Sure Kids Are Welcome
Not all restaurants embrace children; some are explicit about that, others are not. Play it safe and call ahead. This is a good opportunity to check that there is a children’s menu or something on the regular menu that your kids will eat.
Ease Slowly Into Fine Dining
If this is your first foray into dining out with the little ones, choose somewhere nice, not too fancy, and family-friendly. In the beginning, order just one course. “Most parents can gauge what their children can handle,” says Jessica Ritz, creator of Taster Tots LA (tastertotsla.com), a blog that lists child-friendly restaurants with adult-friendly food in Los Angeles. “By a certain age, some kids enjoy dining role-play too, like placing a cloth napkin in their laps.”
An overtired or over-hungry child is no fun for anyone, so hit your favorite spot in the mid-afternoon, after your little one has had a nap, or while the Early Bird Special is still available. The restaurant will be quieter, you’ll be less likely to disturb other diners, the waitstaff will be less frazzled, and (best of all) your child won’t be exhausted.
Pack Your Own Distractions
Pack a few toys, books, tools for coloring, or anything that will keep your kids quiet and won’t make noise that will distract other diners. Murphy cautions against electronics, though. “Coloring is fine, but please leave the iPads, iPods, DS games, and any other electronic device at home. Parents want peace and quiet when they eat, but the way to get that to happen is not to reinforce that children will get to watch a movie if they scream or misbehave.
Think About Seating
Request a corner table rather than one in the middle of the room or ask your server where the least conspicuous spot in the dining room is. Your kids will be out of the way of other diners and more contained in a private area. This will also help keep any kids’ noises or disturbances from being too noticeable and make the overall experience more enjoyable.
Always Say “Thanks”
“What better setting for adults to model and teach good manners than in restaurants?” Ritz asks. Take the opportunity to explain how important it is to say “please” and “thank you” to waiters when making a request and to say “thank you” again to the restaurant host at the end of the meal. If the kids are old enough, teach them about tipping for good service, and get them to help count out the tip. “If you can spare a minute before you leave, make an effort to tidy up your area a bit,” Ritz says. “Especially if it’s a place you want to eat at again!”
You can make sure your kids are safe and healthy this summer while they enjoy outdoor activities should be a priority. Swimming and playing in water can be just the thing to cool down on a hot summer day. Learning how to prevent water related illnesses and protect yourself and your kids can help you relax and enjoy a summer of fun! Here are some safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Drownings are the leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 4, and three children die every day as a result of drowning.
Heat-related illness happens when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded. Infants and children up to 4 years of age are at greatest risk. For heat-related illness, the best defense if prevention.
Protect yourself and your family by preventing bites and diseases, like West Nile virus and Lyme disease, which can be transmitted by insects.
Some easy preparation will result in a safe, fun-filled summer for you and your kids!
Ask a child, any child, about their favorite superhero and they will quickly name a superhero or princess—-Spiderman, Batman, Elsa, Rapunzel, Superman, Captain America…you name it! So, why the fascination with superheroes? Is there any value in children engaged in superhero and fantasy play? The answer is absolutely yes!
Superhero Play Supports Moral Development
The most common adult belief is that there is no importance or value in children’s fascination and type of play when it comes to superheroes. Most adults quickly dismiss it as nothing more as a common stage for young children—a frivolous type of play and fascination that children will soon outgrow.
The truth is that there has been much research to support children’s interests in these very popular and iconic characters, and how it supports various aspects of children’s development. Most of all, engaging in superhero play actually greatly supports moral development!
Superhero Play Empowers
Sometimes we view superheroes and superhero play as aggressive and potentially physically harmful, and one that promotes violence. However, adults quickly forget the values that superheroes actually instill in children. For one, superheroes give children a platform of feeling in control, empowered, and the all-mighty powers to create good in the world, a world in which they are already feeling small and powerless, and even helpless.
Superheroes, like Spiderman, Wonder Woman, and Batman, are all faced with moral dilemmas and must use their good to fight evil. In the article “Children’s Attitudes Toward Superheroes as a Potential Indicator of Their Moral Understanding” Justin F. Martin states that “superheroes often try to avoid the use of violence. They first try to resolve a situation by reasoning with villain. When that does not work and superheroes are forced to use violence, the goal is apprehension, not annihilation. Superheroes use violence only to prevent harm to others.”
Superhero Play Develops Character
According to Butler and Kratz in “From Superhero to Real-Life Hero: Encouraging Healthy Play,” when given the opportunity to connect superheroes to real-life heroes, we must “encourage healthy superhero play by creating opportunities outside of playtime to talk and read about what makes ‘good guys’ good. Qualities like determination, kindness, helpfulness, selflessness, and courage create heroes, not necessarily physical strength.”
Superhero Play Connects to Real Life
How can you help your child connect their fantasy superheroes to everyday real-life heroes like firefighters, police officers, war heroes, medical heroes, family and friends?
HOORAY FOR HEROES is part of the curriculum at Prestige Preschool Academy. In 2016, we will introduce our favorite superheroes!
How does sleep affect your child’s success at preschool and beyond? If your preschool child isn’t getting the recommended 10-12 hours of sleep daily, their success will be affected. “Parents need to pay as much attention to sleep as they do to nutrition and other health issues,” says Judith Owens, M.D., coauthor of “Take Charge of Your Child’s Sleep”.
If you see these problems, your child may not be getting enough sleep that is critical for success at school.
When a child has difficulty listening to detailed instructions or focusing on planned activities or is slow to react to a question, lack of sleep is often the culprit. It also inhibits time management and task prioritization, Dr. Judith Owens says. Because of this, the child might miss out on information learned at school.
Reduced Cognitive Functioning
If your preschooler has trouble describing a painting she made at school, she could benefit from more sleep. A 1998 study published in Sleep journal showed that just one night of insufficient sleep impaired verbal creativity and abstract thinking in children. “The ability to spontaneously come up with words was compromised,” Dr. Judith Owens says.
A good night’s sleep keeps your little one’s brain fresh and helps him retain information. When paired with slow-wave sleep, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep — the stage where dreaming occurs — plays an essential role in memory consolidation, Dr. Judith Owens says. When your preschooler learns a new color or the words to a new song at school, REM sleep helps to solidify this information in her brain. “Almost everything preschoolers learn is new,” she says.
When your little one feels fatigued during the day, he won’t yawn or doze off like you do — he’ll start bouncing off the wall. Why? Preschoolers “tend to get wired,” Dr. Judith Owens says. “They get hyper and irritable.” And if they can’t sit still, they’ll have a harder time learning.
Irritability, constant crying, temper tantrums, zero patience: Preschoolers who skimp on sleep are much less able to control their emotions. As a result, moodiness might affect their social standing with their peers. “If they’re aggressive and oppositional with other kids, it impacts social interaction,” Dr. Judith Owens says.
Sleep deprivation might weaken the immune system, making the body more susceptible to infection and disease. It also shifts the balance of hormones in the body — particularly essential growth hormones, Dr. Judith Owens says. And although it’s not proven, this could cause your little one to get sick more frequently, resulting in missed school days.
Make sure you have a bedtime routine and then stick to it. Your child will be ready for their day of preschool and will learn more. Find more information and helps here Sleep Time for Kids and here Sleep in Preschoolers
from an article by Katie Stuhler from Parents Magazine
There are many ways to upgrade your praise of your child’s accomplishments. Parents and teachers walk a fine line in complimenting children. Too much “over-the-top” praise might even have a negative effect. The child may feel that he is being manipulated. So, what are the keys to making your praise meaningful?
Canned “This is the most creative art project in the class.”
Credible “Your art project is even more detailed than last time.”
By praising a child’s effort, you help her to be confident about taking on new challenges,” says Carol Dweck, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Stanford University, in California. “ It also instills resilience, which will come in handy when the going gets rough.”
Canned “I’m proud you didn’t get anything wrong on the spelling test.”
Credible “I see you worked hard on memorizing the spelling words.”
“It’s a curious phenomenon, but people believe things they overhear more than things that are told to them,” says Dr. Harvey Karp, M.D., Parents advisor and creator of the DVD and book The Happiest Toddler on the Block.Karp. “Kids this age trust understated praise more than overstated praise,” says Low-key praise seems more honest and sincere.
Canned “You’re a great big brother.”
Credible To Father: “You should have seen Ben helping Lila put her toys away today.”
Canned “Terrific job selling all those Girl Scout Cookies!”
Credible “It was smart to smile and look customers in the eye when you asked them to buy the cookies.”
Instead of reacting right away, allow your child to evaluate and appreciate his own work; it lays the foundation for building self-esteem.
Canned “It’s so exciting that you won a ribbon at the science fair.”
Credible “Hmmm. Would you like to tell me about this ribbon?”
Canned “I’m incredibly proud of your school book report.”
Credible “You must be so proud of your school book report.”
Find out more about Prestige Preschool Academy and our positive approach to learning here !
From an article originally published in the January 2012 issue of Parents magazine. magazine article
Image: Washington Post 7/7/2015