Children and Online Games

online_game_childrenOnline games are a great way to spend quality time with your child. Not only you share fun but there is a great opportunity to share some learning activities. The most important thing to remember is that your child, infant, toddler or preschooler need his own space and time for each activity.

Here is a small tip for the parents. It would be helpful if you have already played the games and spotted which are more fun for your child, more appropriated for his/her age, and then explain to him/her the rules of the game.

But before letting your children alone on the pc screen here are some advices you should follow first for their protection.

• You should be familiar with game ratings and privacy statements of each game. The computer should be placed in a spot that can be easily monitored by you.

• Setting rules is the most important thing. There must be a limited play time with friends that are also off-line friends.

• Chatting with strangers should not be allowed and personal information (real name, address, etc) and photos should never be shared in the net.

• You should encourage your child to report to you if anybody is trying to get personal information or if somebody is using inappropriate language.

• Use voice chat wisely. If your child is young you should better not used it at all.

• Help your child to choose an appropriate name for his/her game character that should not reveal any personal information.

• Be aware of cyber bullies and learn how to deal with them.

• If your child, for any reason feels uncomfortable with anything during his/her online playing he/she should report it to you immediately.

• Participate to the games. Your child may not be so happy at the beginning, but it is a good way to observe the environment and teach your child how to deal with others online.

As our children are getting older they are going to spend even more time on the computer, doing a school project, or chatting, or playing. So it is important to learn from their early ages how they can protect themselves and feel safe on the internet.


Teen Parenting – More Challenges

teen_parentingBecoming a parent is one of the most challenging experience someone can have in his life, but it is, at the same time, the most rewarding. When teenagers become parents, they will have to face all the parenting challenges and many more.

The common course of life for a teenager is to graduate from high school, get to college, find a job and then get married. It is at that last stage that children enter the stage. But expecting a child as a teen bypasses all the intermediate stages of life sending him or her from high school straight to being a parent. And in order to raise a child, they will often have to drop out from high school.

Difficulties like seclusion or loneliness are often experienced by teenage parents. They have problems socializing with other parents because of the age difference, but the responsibilities engendered by parenting make it also difficult for them to fit in with other teenagers. In a social context, they can also be rejected for ethical reasons, and that’s why many teen parents take the healthy decision to adhere to support groups with other teenage parents.

Most teen parents are not actually prepared to raise a child. Their immaturity is not compatible with the challenges of parenting: kids are not ready to raise kids. That’s why, generally, the parents of these teens will play an important role in the child’s upbringing to assure that proper care is given.teen_parent

When your teenage child is about to become a parent himself or herself, there is no other alternative but to admit the situation and to offer your best support. The fact is that this new baby needs people with experience around him and the adolescent parent probably needs some financial support. So try to be as helpful as possible, because it is the future of your grand-child you have to deal with after all.

For a teenager, becoming a parent will involve, most of the time, huge sacrifices. The father will have to find a job to support the mother and probably drop out school also. On the mother’s side a lot of learning about parenting will have to be done in order to raise the child the best way possible. And for the parents of these teens, their anger and frustration will have to be replaced by a positive and caring support.


Is your Child Jealous?

children_jealousyChildren prefer an exclusive love and attention from their parents, and they often have jealous reactions when a younger sibling is born. Find out if your child is likely to act in this way and what you can do to keep a balanced harmony in your family.

Jealousy in children can be expressed with the following ways:

When a child:

  • Becomes aggressive with his little brother or sister or with the parents, many times without particular reason. Finding absurd and insignificant excuses, he shows his anger, he hits, uses bad language, pulls other children’s hair and bites.
  • He is having trouble to adapt himself and adopts antisocial behavior. He strongly denies to go to school, and to participate in social events and excursions.
  • He strongly denies eating, has anorectic tendency, adopts odd preferences and whims for food and looses weight.
  • Is having sleeping disorders. He denies going to sleep or is having difficulties to sleep, is waking up in the middle of the night, demands to sleep in your room or pees in his bed.
  • He even soils his underwear during the day, he talks and cries like a baby, and generally adopts smaller child’s behavior.
  • He extreme cases he can present sign of illness, or even get sick very often.

How to deal with jealousy?

  • Ask him to explain exactly his feelings and discuss with him.
  • Don’t degrade your child but try to comprehend his feelings. Your child is trying to express his emotions and no matter how irrational they may look to you, you should respect them.
  • Ask your child what he wants and satisfy his wishes as long they are within reasonable limits. Do not, in any way, attempt to bribe him satisfying each of his silly requirement.
  • Encourage him to feel friendly and positive toward his younger brother or sister. Explain to your child that the youngest member of the jealousy_in_childrenfamily will be his/her friend to play and discuss.
  • Urge your child to take responsibilities – if his age allows it – towards his brother or sister. Ask him to take care of the baby, to feed him, to play with him, and try to calm when he cries. The children are very happy when they can behave like adults.
  • Explain to him that the needs of a baby in the early days are numerous and that the same attention was given to him also when he was a baby.
  • Make sure that he understands that the love for him has not diminished, and that you can love also the two children equally and each one is special for you.
  • Show him, with actions, your love and give him all the attention he so desperately needs. Your new baby may need more of your care, however the needs of your first child are also increased, perhaps now even more.
  • Don’t forget to remind him as often as you can the important place he has in your heart.
  • And always remember that all the children want to seem stronger and more capable than the other.

Ideas for Ecological Christmas Gifts

ecological_christmasChristmas is coming and it is a great opportunity to teach our children that we can enjoy these days without destroying our planet.

Let’s see some ideas for gifts we can make, without stealing them from our planet. Don’t forget that a present represent our thoughts and our personal touch can make it more valuable. We give presents with our hearts not our wallets.

Dedicate your time and energy

Dedicate some of your personal time and energy to go for a walk with the family and the dog, visit a museum, go to the theater or enjoy a special weekend in a lovely place.

Antiques and collectibles

For the members of the family that like to collect objects, a collectible will be the perfect present. And we won’t burden our planet with new objects.

Troves

Every child has a collection with small treasures from the nature, an unusual crystal, a rare shell, an odd rock and others. Giving away something of his/her personal treasure is a valuable gift, and with all the most profound meaning of Christmas.

Food

Cooking a dinner for your family and friends with biological ingredients can also be a great gift. But if you haven’t enough time, you can fill small bottles with olive oil and herbs, or marmalade or buy some biologic wines and decorate them, with your children’s help, with colorful ribbons, twigs and flowers.

Flowers

If you have a garden you can make flowerpots for your friends or if you don’t, you can buy them flowers that can be found locally and not being shipped by air. Offering summer flowers in winter will contribute in enormous consumption of energy.

Used Gifts

We usually don’t offer used things as a gift because we are afraid of the way that other people will characterize us. But there is a new way, an ecological way to handle used gifts. The older children can offer their old bicycle, or their old computer, books, clothes (in good condition) or toys to their younger brothers or sisters. Children can decide with their friends to only offer used gifts and not buy new ones.

Without batteries

Try to buy children’s toys without batteries. Not only will you help environment but you “rescue” the other parents from the expense of buying new batteries every once in a while. If you can’t avoid it buy rechargeable batteries.

Wrapper

Usually the wrapper is thrown away, and what a waste! For wrapping gifts, we could use materials that could be used again like fabrics , boxes, purses, old comics, or recycled paper with drawings made by the children. And all these can be tied with a beautiful ribbon or string with leaves and pine cones.

The Black List

Don’t buy:
Gifts that are made from animals and plants that are threatened species
Items made from fur
Wrapping material
Games and clothes that are made at the sweatshops of the fourth world, where forced and children labor occurs.

Prefer:
Biological Food
Books
Practical, useful and long-life gifts
Gifts from ecological organizations that can also be found on the internet.
Gifts made from recycled materials
Games that don’t need batteries
Games that help children discover and enjoy nature
Educational games

Social Sensibilization

Ask your children to choose some of their games that they don’t use anymore and give them to poor families or organizations.handmade_gift

Christmas Flea Market

Organize a Christmas flea market, with handmade gifts, with your friends and neighbors and donate the money to organizations that protect animals and environment.

And don’t forget that it doesn’t matter how much money you have spend for a Christmas present but how much thought, personal time and love you put in it.