Parent Tips

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How can I create a pennant banner?

Easy Ribbon Penant Banners

Creating an easy decoration for holidays is simple with a ribbon pennant banner. All you really need is a bit of cardstock, a hole punch, and ribbon. Print, color, and/or cut the cardstock to determine how you want the banner to look. Cut out one shape (rectangle, square, triangle, etc.) for each letter of the banner. Create two holes at the top of each piece using a hole punch. Thread ribbon from the back of the left hole to the front of the right hole through each letter, stringing them together in order. Hang the banner, as desired.

This type of banner is great for holiday celebrations, birthday parties, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Easter, Fourth of July, dinner parties, baby showers, or any other time in which you want a unique decoration!

Why is having a toddler on a schedule so important?

Toddler Schedules

One of the best ways to make raising a toddler a little easier for parents is through a regular schedule system. This system can be a verbal routine or something written down on a chart, but must be followed on a daily basis for best effect.

Creating a toddler schedule usually centers around meal and nap times. Other moments in between can involve working on learning and/or reading, watching a favorite movie, going on an outing, playing with a favorite toy, playing in the backyard, etc.

The most important thing about keeping a toddler on schedule is to make sure every moment of the day is filling with some sort of activity. Leaving toddlers to their own devices often leads to frustrated parents and a big mess!

By putting together a schedule that is solid for the child, you can easily eliminate much frustration from your home.

What are iTwins or Irish Twins?

What Are iTwins?

These days, anything with an "i" in front of it seems popular. iPhones... iPads... iPods... What's next?

Ever heard of the term, iTwins? This new, technological play on words is actually short for "Irish Twins." This generally refers to two children born in the same family to the same mother within twelve months. Another variation of this term is iTriplets or Irish Triplets, with the meaning of three children born within three years.

Of course, these sayings started off as derogatory terms in the early to mid-1900s when Irish immigration to the United States was booming.

Today, a parent of "iTwins" usually just gets stared at in awe, asked how she does it with two so young, and often a reminiscing tale of growing up close in age to a sibling or raising children of their own the same way.

How can I use lavender to help with sleep?

Lavender Essential Oil for Sleeping

One of the most widely used essential oils is Lavender. However, many people who suffer from insomnia and other sleep ailments do not realize it can be used to help them relax enough to fall asleep soundly.

To help with sleep, a few drops of Lavender essential oil may be added directly to your pillow. As an alternative, the oil may be added directly onto the skin, such as on the wrist. Lavender essential oil can also be added to a hot bath to help you relax, destress, and wash away the worries of the day.

While Lavender essential oil will not put a person to sleep, it can help calm, relax, and prepare for sound sleep.

How can I potty train my infant?

Infant Potty Training

Many parents spend thousands of dollars on disposable diapers, or hundreds on cloth diapers, pins and covers in order to get each child through toddler-hood, at which point they need to potty train the child so he can go to preschool. However, many parents in the Western world don't realize that nearly half of the world's children are potty trained before their first birthday. Most of Asia, and many other countries, don't wear diapers because their parents start teaching them to go to the toilet, ten to fifteen minutes after feedings, from the day the child is born. Done regularly, this results in babies being able to go diaper-free without making messes.

While not common in the United States, there is a growing number of families that use a similar practice called Elimination Communication as a way to potty train kids as young as three months old. It saves hundreds of dollars, loads of laundry and the stress of having to teach the child when he's older.

What do I do to build a good relationship with my teenager?

Show Your Teen You Trust Them

Teens are supersensitive to what people think of them, and that even includes the opinions of their parents.

If you convey to your teenager the message that you believe in him or her, that you see them as an honorable and honest person, and that you trust them when they're out of your sight, they are much likelier to actually behave well.

Since this is a time in life when a person's normal activities take them all over town, you can't actually supervise them all the time anyway. So, you might as well lay the foundations of mutual respect by choosing the path of trust rather than that of suspicion.

Everyone we're close to (not just teens) will live up or down to the opinion we have of them. Teenagers who feel that they are approved of by their parents are much likelier to try to live up to that approval.

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Patricia Walters-Fischer