Kids Kingdom Daycare, Child Care & Playground Blog
Kids Kingdom combines a premium family entertainment complex with a state-of-the-art childcare centre. Our goal is to be the number one destination for Ottawa families to play, learn, and grow. Parents agree that Kids Kingdom is the best Daycare in Ottawa, Orleans, Kanata, & Stittsville! Our incredible Indoor Playground offers hours of fun!
Understanding Parenting Styles and the Lasting Effects of Parenting Styles in Early Childhood
Every parent is entitled to raise their children the way they see fit. And while parenting styles vary, parenting styles can affect everything from your child’s diet, weight, and health to their daily routine, the decisions they make, and how they feel about themselves throughout their lives.
To help you find the most effective parenting style for you and your family, let’s take a look at the four main parenting styles studied in developmental psychology.
Authoritarian parents are strict and controlling. The authoritarian parent demands obedience with their clearly stated rules. And their strong sense of justice means they will punish their children for not behaving as ordered instead of disciplining them. So instead of teaching their children to make better choices, they focus on making their kids feel sorry for their mistakes.
These parents refuse to be challenged by their children and discourage compromising. The authoritarian parenting style is both highly demanding and not very responsive.
Examples of Authoritarian Parenting
Authoritarian parents typically share the following beliefs:
Kids should be seen and not heard.
It’s “my way or the highway” when it comes to rules.
They don’t consider their children’s feelings or opinions when problem-solving.
They say, “Because I said so,” when a child questions their reasons behind rules.
Kids should always follow the rules without any negotiating or exceptions.
How an Authoritarian Parenting Style Can Affect Your Child
Children of authoritarian parents might:
Be timid or have low self-esteem because their opinions aren’t valued.
Have poor social skills.
Become good liars to avoid punishment.
Rely largely on the voice of authority.
Have higher levels of depression and anxiety.
Become aggressive and hostile, feeling especially angry toward their parents.
Suffer from mental health problems into adulthood, while never being able to realize their full potential.
Authoritative parents are warm and communicative with their children while still enforcing the rules. They are both demanding and responsive and look for a balance between being listened to and giving their children independence. This parenting style can foster a healthy, positive relationship between parent and child.
Authoritative parents are assertive but not restrictive, encouraging cooperation, assertiveness, self-regulation, and social responsibility in their children.
Examples of Authoritative Parenting
Authoritative parents will:
Put a lot of effort into building and maintaining positive relationships with their kids.
Use positive parenting and reinforcement for good behaviour, such as praise and rewards.
How an Authoritative Parenting Style Can Affect Your Child
Authoritative parents tend to raise children who:
Are well-adjusted, happy, and successful.
Have a sense of independence.
Perform well in school.
Avoid problem behaviours.
Are comfortable expressing their opinions.
Are good at decision making and evaluating safety risks.
Grow up to be competent, responsible adults.
Permissive parents are usually responsive, warm, and accepting, but not demanding. They don’t enforce the rules, and they avoid confrontation.
Some permissive parents worry about interfering with their children’s creativity and sense of self. Others try to be friends with their kids or compensate for their own strict or poor upbringings by being very accommodating, giving their kids the freedom and material things they ask for.
Other permissive parents may give in to their kids’ wishes conditionally—e.g. if they have good grades. And the most extreme type of permissive parenting is very lax and indifferent. These parents are too concerned with their own problems—financial, mental health, work, or are merely too self-involved. They don’t exert control over their kids and instead give them freedom and material things so their kids won’t demand anything of them.
Examples of Permissive Parenting
Permissive parents tend to:
Set rules but rarely enforce them.
Rarely discipline/give out consequences.
Think their children will learn best without parental interference.
Only step in when there is a serious problem.
Be very forgiving.
Take on more of a friend role than a parenting role.
Not put much effort into discouraging poor choices and behaviour.
Think “kids will be kids.”
How It Can Affect Your Child
If parents are too permissive, their children might:
Have low self-esteem and feelings of sadness.
Have health problems, like obesity and cavities, because their parents don’t limit junk-food intake or enforce healthy habits like teeth brushing.
Feel entitled to privileges and material items.
Be more involved in problem behaviours as they get older—e.g., substance abuse—especially as a way of rebelling if their parents try to regain control. and,
Perform poorly in school.
Have little appreciation for authority and the rules.
Uninvolved parents are not demanding or responsive. They provide little to no attention, nurturing, or guidance, so their kids have complete freedom to do as they please. In the worst cases, this type of parenting is considered a form of neglect.
Sometimes, this neglect is unintentional. Parents with mental illnesses, including addiction, may not be able to meet their children’s basic physical and emotional needs consistently. Other times, parents don’t have proper knowledge about child development. Or, they are too overwhelmed with their own problems, like work, chores, and finances, to focus on their children.
Examples of Uninvolved Parenting
Uninvolved parents usually:
Don’t ask their kids about school or homework.
Don’t know where their kids are, what they are doing, or who they are with.
Don’t spend much time with their kids.
Don’t enforce rules.
Don’t spend time or energy on meeting their kids’ basic needs.
Expect their kids to raise themselves.
How It Can Affect Your Child
Children of uninvolved parents tend to:
Have low self-esteem.
Have poor mental health.
Perform poorly in school.
Have frequent behavioural problems.
Have poor relationships with their parents as they get older.
Be at risk of substance abuse.
Have lifelong problems caused by their parents’ indifference or inability to parent them.
CAN/SHOULD YOU MIX AND MATCH?
While different children need different parenting practices, they do not need different parenting styles. For example, a parent should not be authoritarian when their child is difficult, and permissive when their child is behaving well.
Instead, parents should be consistent and stick with the most effective and beneficial parenting style for their families.
Throughout the many years of psychological research on parenting styles, the authoritative style has been consistently linked with the most positive outcomes for children. And since children thrive on consistency and structure, along with warmth and acceptance, the authoritative style may be the most effective parenting style for all children.
Consider the outcomes for children of different parenting styles when choosing the best style for you and your family. If you want to be an authoritative parent but you’re overwhelmed with stressors in life, consider these tips for taking a break and avoiding parental burnout. And once you recharge, you can focus your energy on being the best parent you can be for your kids today and for the rest of their lives.
Children and creativity go hand in hand. Not only are children natural innovators with powerful imaginations, but studies show that the more imaginative they are, the more likely they are to cope with pain, gain confidence, develop social skills, and learn more efficiently.
While daycare can help kids be creative, the first place to spark the imagination of creative kids is at home with parents. So here’s how to nurture creativity in children so your creative children can grow up to be successful creative adults.
#1: Lead By Example
Since children learn from watching their parents, kids with creative parents tend to be creative too. So let your child see you being creative. Whether doing something crafty or trying something new, let your child see you tackle new ideas and projects, failing at times while enjoying the creative process.
And if your child asks you to play, join them for some quality bonding time that will nourish your child’s (and your own) creativity.
#2: Invest in Open-Ended Toys
Open-ended toys are toys that can be used in a variety of ways depending on your child’s mood and imagination. These toys include LEGO, blocks, doll houses, sand, playdough, matchbox cars, stuffed animals, magnetic tiles, and dress-up clothes.
#3: Give Them A Space for Creating and The Supplies They Need
By designating an area in your home for your child to be creative, they will feel a sense of power over their space. This control over their own space will give them the confidence to embrace their creativity and let their imagination run wild.
A creative space doesn’t have to be large or filled with elaborate toys. It could be a simple corner in the family room with their favourite creative props, such as LEGO, clothes for dress-up, colouring books, or an easel.
When it comes to indoor activities for kids, kids don’t need much to fuel their imaginations. Simple toys, games, and art supplies will allow your child to be more creative. Instead of following directions or feeling overwhelmed by a complicated game, your child should feel free to do what they please with their creative supplies and space.
For arts and crafts supplies, think old boxes, scrap paper, empty paper towel rolls, and empty containers that would end up in the recycling bin. And don’t forget tape, glue, scissors, markers, and pencil crayons.
#4: Allow Free Time and Freedom to Get Creative
Unstructured indoor play is important for nurturing a child’s creativity. So make sure your child can spend a few hours at home without any planned activities. They can putter around, read, play, draw, or even help you cook if that’s what they want to do. And if it’s nice outside, they can play outdoors.
#5: Exposing Children to Various Creative Outlets
Creativity isn’t just for the arts. Kids can be creative in many ways. Here are just a few ways to expose your child to creative thinking:
Read lots of books;
Draw and paint;
Listen to music and create music;
Have dance parties;
Build structures out of craft materials to spark an interest in architectural design;
Get outside and explore nature;
Teach your child to take photographs and videos, whether on a phone or a tablet;
Watch age-appropriate movies, especially those that embrace thinking outside the box (e.g., the magical Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone).
#6: Spark Their Critical and Creative Thinking
Whenever your child asks you to help them solve a problem, start by asking them what they think. And show interest in their ideas, especially when they are unexpected and out of the box. This will help them learn to think critically and creatively and become better problem-solvers.
You can also ask them to help you solve family problems, like the mess in the living room. By asking your child how they would solve a problem, you can let them contribute to the family and feel important while sparking their problem-solving skills.
#7: Try Not to Manage Them, But Help Them Activate Their Senses
Children will be creative when allowed to play on their own without being told what to do. So avoid over-parenting or managing them too much. Let them do their own thing without you hovering over them. And don’t enroll them in too many activities that will take over their free time.
When it comes to extracurricular activities, ask them what they are interested in and let them follow their passion.
Even babies get creative, learn, and problem-solve by trying things on their own. So while it’s okay to keep a watchful eye on your child, you can be hands-off at times. And if your child invites you to play with them, let them take the lead and guide you.
Instead, you can help your child activate their senses by guiding but not directing them. Bring them out into the world. Take them outdoors, to parks, museums, and libraries.
You can also help activate their senses by asking them to imagine a place, such as a faraway place they want to travel to. Ask them what the place would look, smell, sound, and feel like. Or what the animals there would look and sound like.
#8: Ask Questions About Their Creations
Show interest in your child’s creations and ask them what they were thinking about while creating the object. These questions can encourage your child to articulate their creative process and ideas involved throughout the project.
#9: Brainstorm and Celebrate Ideas
Have family brainstorming sessions to encourage your child to share ideas and build on ideas. Creativity is the ability to come up with new ideas or put ideas together in innovative ways. So by celebrating everyone’s ideas, you can teach your child that it’s not scary to create and share ideas.
#10: Always Encourage Them Not To Give Up
Since parents are cheerleaders for their kids, not critics, always provide positive feedback to your child and don’t criticize their work or ideas.
Encourage your child’s efforts, not the results. For example, instead of focusing on the marks of a test, focus on the effort your child made to learn the test’s subject matter.
Depending on the task at hand, being creative can take some work. So encourage your child not to give up, and instead, to embrace their creative thinking.
Children are naturally creative thinkers. So give them the confidence they need to embrace and share their ideas with the world and continue making the most of their imaginations even as they grow up.
How to Make Your Journey Go Smoother When Flying with Kids
When it comes to air travel, we’re all a little on edge. It can be a lot to handle, with long flight times, crowded airports, small seats, delays (if not cancellations), long wait times… you get the picture.
Now add a baby or toddler to the mix.
On top of your usual stresses, there’s now a little one to keep occupied, happy, fed, and calm. Flying with kids can be stressful, often for the same reasons parents are hesitant to bring their young children out to dinner at restaurants.
But with a positive attitude and careful preparation, you can make the experience less stressful for you and your kids.
Here are some of the top tips for surviving air travel with kids.
Request a Bassinet If You’re Flying with a Baby
Airplanes are crowded, and carry-on luggage for yourself and your baby is a lot to lug around. Add a baby seat or carrier to the mix, and suddenly you’re over your carry-on limit. These carriers are also often checked at the gate, leaving you without a dedicated seat for your little one.
Thankfully, there are solutions!
If your little one is coming with you on a flight lasting five hours or more, call your airline ahead of time to book a bassinet. Airlines frequently provide bassinets for children under 25 pounds. These bassinets give you a small crib that attaches to the bulkhead (you’ll need to book bulkhead seats) that can provide a quiet crib for your little one to nap through the flight, giving you a break.
Of course, you’ll still have to hold your child during take-off and landing, and not all bassinets are created equal. It’s not an ideal solution, but it does give you an option if you wind up having to check a baby carrier. You may also be able to bring a car seat on a plane—just make sure you check with your airline ahead of time!
Prep for Meals
If possible, feed your baby before boarding. When travelling with a baby on a plane, a well-fed baby will likely sleep better and longer on a flight.
Also, pack protein-rich foods that will fill your kids’ bellies and help them fall asleep on the flight. These foods include string cheese, hard-boiled eggs, roasted chicken, and sun butter sandwiches. Dried fruit and low-sugar protein bars for kids are good snacks for flights because they’re not messy to eat, but it can also help to have some favourite snacks tucked away.
However, you will want to avoid high-sugar foods and the rush that comes with them. If you do order kids meals on the flight, be cautious of all the sugar-filled foods being served. You might want to remove some of these foods before handing the meals to your kids.
Airport security is more lenient for parents travelling with kids, so you can pack bottled breast milk and formula in your carry-on. However, you might have to put the bottles in clear plastic bags before going through the security check.
Lastly, don’t forget to pack reusable water bottles to fill up before boarding so you and your kids can stay hydrated throughout your trip.
Remind Your Kids of the Rules
To ensure your kids are respectful of other passengers on the flight, remind them of the rules before and during your trip. Be consistent with the rules, always stay in charge, and keep your kids occupied so they don’t disrupt others.
While your children may not stay quiet the entire time, you can remind them to keep their voices down and make sure they don’t run wild and kick the seats in front of them.
Pack a Busy Bag or a “Big Kid” Carry-On
A busy bag should have everything your child needs to stay busy on the flight. This should include their snacks, blanket, and a variety of toys, books, games, and puzzles.
Depending on the age of the child, this could be a small backpack that your child carries or a large backpack that you carry. And if you need another carry-on bag, make sure it’s on wheels so you’re not weighed down. Most parents of young children travel with a backpack carry-on (so their hands are free) and a stroller.
Book Flights Scheduled during Sleep Time
Consider booking your flights during a time you know your child is typically tired or asleep, such as evening or night time. Otherwise, choose a time when your child is calm and well-rested, such as first thing in the morning.
If your flight departs in the afternoon, make sure your child gets plenty of exercise before the flight. Consider bringing them to the park or have them burn off energy at the airport by doing jumping jacks or running laps at an empty gate.
Hopefully, by taking every opportunity to exercise before the flight, the engine noise will soothe your child into a long, deep nap.
Be Lenient When It Comes to Electronics
Limits to screen time shouldn’t apply during air travel. The in-flight entertainment system and your own electronics will keep your kids occupied for hours, so take advantage of these devices. Load up your smartphone or tablet with child-friendly apps.
Get proper headphones that will fit over your child’s ears. In-flight earbuds don’t usually fit in children’s ears. Be sure to remember to adjust the volume of the headphones to a safe level for children’s ears.
Arrive Early and Take Advantage of Early Boarding
Passengers with small children get to board planes early. Early boarding gives you more time to settle into your seats. Plus there will be more space at this time to stow away your carry-on luggage in the overhead compartment above your seat.
Once seated, you can start playing with your kids and take measures to prevent your child’s ears from popping during take-off. When flying with a toddler or an infant, offer a bottle or feeding. Give kids over four years old a piece of gum to chew on. The chewing motions will help equalize pressure in their ears and reduce ear pain.
A nasal decongestion spray used about half an hour before a flight can also help prevent painful congestion from spreading to the ears during flights. Ears will also pop when flights are landing, so be sure to offer gum, a bottle, or feeding during this time too.
Pack Their Favourite Things… And a Reward!
To keep your child happy and comfortable on the flight, make sure to pack their favourite toys, stuffed animal, and comfort blanket in a carry-on. You could also dress them in their favourite comfy clothes and shoes. Don’t forget to pack extra socks and more than enough diapers, either!
You could also pack a gift or surprise new toys in your carry-on to give to your kid mid-flight and keep them occupied. This toy should be time-consuming, like puzzles, crafts, stickers, colouring books, and activity sets. Play games together, do crafts together, and keep things light and fun.
Flying Overnight? Try to Maintain Your Bedtime Routine
Get your kids to brush their teeth and change into their pyjamas. Then read them a story and tuck them in. Tuck them in with a soft travel blanket that either comes with a pillow attached or give them a comfy neck pillow.
Stay Calm, Breathe, and Try to Relax
This is probably the most important tip of all. Don’t let the stress of flying with kids get you down. If you start feeling overwhelmed, take deep breaths. A relaxed, healthy parent is better able to cope with the stress of air travel with kids. And if you’re afraid your child will throw a tantrum, follow these tips to handle tantrums.
Maintain your composure throughout the flight, and do the best that you can. The flight will likely go much better than you think anyway, especially if you follow these tips for surviving air travel with kids.
How to Help Your Child Develop the Skills for a Successful Life
All parents are concerned with helping their children develop the necessary skills to become healthy, happy, and successful adults later in life. Children thrive when they are supported, when they are in stimulating environments, when they feel safe, and when they are challenged.
It becomes important then, for parents to make sure their children are going to schools, daycares, or camps that are supporting their child’s development. Kids Kingdom is concerned with offering children the best environment to grow, learn and play. Kids Kingdom is also committed to meeting parents’ standards of safety, cleanliness, and respect.
With two locations, Kids Kingdom is there for countless children across Ottawa. Whether for family fun in Ottawa, daycare, preschool, or local Ottawa summer camps, Kids Kingdom provides a fun, safe, and engaging environment to help children develop the skills they need to succeed in life.
Along with making the most of Kid Kingdom’s programs, parents can help support their child’s early development to succeed in life through reading, exercise, play, socialization, and more. Here’s how.
Defining Success and Expectations
Each child is unique. So when trying to define success and set goals for your child, remember that they will have their own unique skills and abilities. When you spend time getting to know your kids, you can pinpoint your child’s strengths, weaknesses, talents, and interests. And then you can encourage them to accomplish goals based on their unique abilities.
You don’t want to set your child up for failure by setting your expectations too high. The most important thing is that your child will develop a strong sense of self-worth and be motivated to accomplish goals in life. A successful child will grow up to be a successful adult, who enjoys learning and being around loved ones, and who is an ethical person with a strong character and good values and morals.
In general, most people define success as being happy, healthy, and able to enjoy life to the fullest.
Success comes in many forms, such as academic success, creative talent, emotional intelligence, and physical abilities.
Children start learning social skills from the moment they’re born. And these skills will help them relate to and get along with others, succeed in school, work, and other social settings, and form friendships and other meaningful relationships in life.
The following are social skills kids learn through interactions with their parents, siblings, friends, and peers at daycare, school, and summer camps that will contribute to social success and building emotional intelligence:
Overcoming shyness/social anxiety;
How to form relationships;
Being comfortable with making eye contact;
Good body language;
Making up after a misunderstanding/conflict resolution;
How to show respect for others;
Confidence to join in on social activities; and,
How to regulate behaviour.
Encouraging Children to Read
Reading is the key to success for learning. A child who loves to read will also be more likely to love learning. And this helps set children up for success in school.
Reading helps children develop a strong vocabulary, language skills, creativity, empathy, and imagination. It also helps them learn how to concentrate and process concepts and communication. Children who have strong reading skills tend to do well in the language arts, writing and reading, along with other subjects like math and science since they learn to absorb more knowledge.
To develop a love of reading and your child’s reading skills, make reading a regular activity for you and your child. Start with reading to your child daily, and then have them read to you when they can. Also, have designated family reading times where everyone reads their own books. When your child sees you reading your own book, they’ll see how important reading is.
Fill your home with books and reading materials, and make a weekly or bi-weekly visit to your local public library so your child can choose their own books to read. This trip to the library can become a fun outing that will nourish your child’s love for reading even more.
Encouraging Children to Play and Do Physical Activity
Play and physical activity help kids in so many ways. Play stimulates creativity and imagination. And physical activity promotes both physical and mental health, giving kids the confidence they need to continue being physically active and living a healthy lifestyle.
Those who exercise tend to be happier, sleep better, have more energy during the day, and have stronger immune systems. Physical activity also reduces symptoms of mental illness, such as depression and anxiety.
Team sports and activities teach children how to be a contributing member of a team. In team settings, they can learn to work well with others and develop resilience and leadership skills that will help them as they get older, especially in the workplace.
Children who participate in sports and physical activities also tend to have better time management skills and do better in school. They are also less likely to take up smoking and recreational drug use as they get older.
Discipline, Patience, Problem-Solving Skills, And Other Characteristics to Instill in Your Child
When kids get frustrated, they often want to give up on the task at hand. But it’s important to encourage them to keep trying, be patient, and take their time, instead of letting them quit. When a child can finish a task well from start to finish, they can learn the importance of discipline and finishing what they started.
Delaying gratification is another essential skill to have for self-discipline. Learning that important “work” tasks must be completed before fun play can happen is a useful skill for success in life. Self-discipline also involves learning to say no to one’s self. For example, teach your child to avoid snacking if they aren’t actually hungry.
For kids to develop problem-solving skills, they must be allowed to fail and learn to pick themselves back up again on their own. So while it’s okay to guide your child to make the right choices, you can’t solve all of their problems for them. They must learn from their mistakes and problem-solve so they can succeed out in the real world.
Other characteristics to instill in your child so they will grow up to be a successful, well-rounded individual include valuing community involvement, helping others, and developing an appreciation for the great outdoors. You can get your kid involved in the community through volunteer work, charity drives, collecting donations, and other community activities.
And take your kid on bike and camping trips to encourage your child to develop a love for nature, exploration, and outdoor activities.
With safe, nurturing learning environments both at home and at preschool, your child can learn all the essential life skills necessary to live a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life.
Everyone must learn to get along with others. And young children are still learning and growing. For this reason, they need support, affection, and structure so that they may thrive in new environments, like a new daycare in Ottawa. Love, nurturing, and emotional and cognitive support help kids feel secure and increase a child’s ability to learn and develop.
With the support and guidance of Early Childhood Education Specialists, the Kids Kingdom Ottawa daycare offers an ideal environment where children can learn to be kind, patient, friendly and independent.
But to promote positive behaviours that can help children integrate well and make friends in daycare, parents must also do their part to teach their children how to be kind to others. So here’s a look at what you can do to help your children get along with others and develop social skills that will last a lifetime.
Top 10 Tips to Help Children Get Along
Use these tips at home with your kids to teach them how to get along with each other and with their friends.
Set and post rules for love, kindness, sharing, and respect using terms and graphics that your children can understand.
Address children’s hurt feelings instead of pointing blame on the offender. Telling a child that their sister is sad because they took away her toy without asking is better than calling the offender naughty or bad.
Set age-appropriate expectations for your kids. Your teenager’s resolution skills should be more advanced than your preschooler’s.
If they are not out of hand, being violent, or swearing, let your children resolve their own disagreements. This will teach them how to problem-solve with others.
Blend children’s interests if they want to play with different things. Ask them how they can play together with both of their interests included.
When doing crafts, have the kids make gifts for each other, or ask them what craft they think the other child would like to encourage them to consider each other’s feelings and interests.
Take turns playing with each child’s interest if the kids want to do different activities.
Focus on each child’s individual strengths to provide them with self-worth in times of competitiveness.
Allow your children to set aside toys and belongings that they don’t have to share. This lets siblings gain respect for each other and their belongings. And during playdates, you can put these special items away.
Praise children when they are playing and working together as a team.
Support and Consistency: Helping Children Understand the Rules
It’s important to be supportive and consistent to create structure in your child’s life and help your child understand the rules. One of the best ways to help your child maintain good behaviour is to be more consistent. This means following through with what you say you’ll do, instead of giving your child extra chances when they break the rules and behave poorly around others.
Inconsistency in the rules can make life unpredictable for kids. As a result, they lack the structure to feel secure and can develop poor attachment issues that can affect them socially, emotionally, and behaviourally.
Positive support and reinforcement for following the rules and doing chores will encourage your child to continue with this positive behaviour in the future.
But it’s important to set age-appropriate expectations for your kids and consistent consequences and privileges based on your child’s behaviour. Clear consequences for breaking the rules, such as loss of privileges, will help change your child’s behaviour for the better. This will show that you love your child while also trying to keep them safe and secure.
The Importance of Routine in Helping Children Cope with New Environments
Routine is another type of structure that your child needs to feel secure. With a routine, your child will know what to expect, and this will help improve their behaviour throughout the day.
Change can be very stressful for children, especially when a child enters a new environment, like daycare. But by following a routine at home and at daycare, your child will feel comfortable with this structure and consistency.
Following a routine will help your child:
Get on a schedule so they can nap, sleep, eat, relax, play, and have regular bowel movements;
Understand that family time is important;
Know when it’s time to do something, like pick up their toys or have a bath, without making a fuss;
By creating a calmer, less stressful household because everyone will know what to expect;
Develop healthy habits, like eating breakfast, studying, cleaning their room, and brushing their teeth;
Keep track of important things;
By giving them something to look forward to;
Create daily bonding rituals, such as reading before bed;
Have a sense of stability during times of stress and change.
Teaching A Child to Play Nicely
While some kids are naturally gentle, many need guidance on how to control touch, so they learn not to hurt others. To teach gentleness, you must show how to be gentle. Use a gentle tone and gently touch your child, saying, “This is gentle.” You can also guide your child’s hands to show how little force is used when being gentle. Once your child starts being gentle, praise them.
Learning To Share
Learning to share can be hard, even for adults. But learning how to share makes any relationship or interaction more enjoyable for everyone involved. To teach your child how to share and play nicely, share your time and things with your kids.
Also, talk about your child’s feelings if they are upset about sharing something. Ask if they are worried they won’t get their toy back. By learning to recognize their own feelings, kids will eventually learn to recognize others’ feelings, which is an essential social skill for getting along with others.
Patience with Others
Talk to your child about waiting and taking turns. Learning how to be patient with others is a valuable social skill that will help your child throughout their life.
Life’s fast pace gets overwhelming. Add kids to the mix, and you’re bound to start feeling a bit burnt out every now and then. There’s no shame in it! Being a parent is a full-time job that you’ve often got to handle on top of an existing full-time job. Sometimes, you need a break to just relax and disconnect while your child is occupied with something else. Have you considered a movie night at a local preschool or daycare?
Daycares and preschools are all about offering families a place to play, learn, and grow. Many offer fun movie nights to give parents a much-needed breather to recharge, letting you drop your children off at the daycare so they can enjoy a night of fun activities and an age-appropriate movie. Meanwhile, you get a night to yourself! If you can’t find a sitter, daycare and preschool movie nights are a great way to get a bit of time to recharge.
Why Daycare Movie Nights Are a Great Option
Just as children need unstructured playtime to relax and be free, parents need time to get away and unwind as well. Put it this way: a car running on fumes isn’t running at its best. At any moment, it might break down, which means calling a tow truck, arranging another ride, or (at worst) taking the car into the shop for some work.
Parents are no different!
A bad sleep here, a rough night there, and burning the candle at both ends adds up. It drains your energy, and unlike a car rolling to a stop, when you’re out of energy, you crash—hard. It takes longer to recover from exhaustion than it does to practice a bit of self-care here and there. Leaving your children with a sitter, family member, or a daycare movie night isn’t something you should feel guilty about. Simply put, mom and dad need breaks, too! Your child deserves you at your best—and so do you!
Daycare movie nights are a great opportunity to:
Rest, relax, and unwind
Enjoy a date night with your partner
Let the kids have a special treat
Give your children a chance to burn off a bit more energy
Spend time together as a family
Knowing you have a reliable, safe, and clean place to leave your children is a huge weight off your mind. You can focus on recharging if you need it, or you can join your kids while letting someone else handle the entertainment for the night.
Benefits for Children
There are several benefits for your children as they experience movie night at a local daycare:
It’s an opportunity for children to develop socialization skills. While learning to compromise, share, and communicate with others, children are able to deal with their emotions and learn important life lessons.
Play is an important part of child development and spending time at a daycare movie night provides a fun, stimulating, and educational playtime experience.
Often, these movie nights offer greater structure than simply going to the cinema or renting something to watch at home, providing further activities and helping children engage with their entertainment actively.
A movie night can be a new experience for children, helping prepare them for other new experiences alone or as part of a group.
Movie nights at daycares often begin in the early evening, generally around 6, starting with a fun introduction, some ground rules, and maybe even an activity before the main feature starts. After the movie has ended, your child will have the opportunity to explore the play center and participate in various activities. Snacks are provided and you can drop in anytime and join in on the fun or pick up your child when movie night ends.
Movie Nights at Home
If you want to plan a movie night at home to connect and spend time together as a family, here are some tips to get you started:
Get creative by making movie admission tickets to hand out or pretend you’re at a drive-in and set up a projector outdoors.
Keep it simple and comfortable by piling pillows and sleeping bags in the floor for everyone to relax on and enjoy the movie.
Have everyone’s favorite snacks available. Ordering pizza is a great option and provides easy cleanup. You can set up a popcorn bar with various toppings available, as well.
Focus on making this a night for the family, blocking out all other distractions such as household chores, work, and technology devices.
Deciding to enjoy a family movie night at home or a movie night at Kids Kingdom is a great way to share memorable moments with those special loved ones in your life. Contact us to learn about our preschool movie nights and other fun activities.
Learning How to Be Confident is the Best Advice for New Parents
There are many opinions on how to raise a child. If you’re a new parent, there are likely plenty of people waiting in the wings to offer advice, insight, and guidance… some of it welcome, some of it not. As a new parent, you’re going to do just great stepping up to the plate and developing your parenting skills.
Still, it’s worth it to remind yourself that parenting takes a lot of courage, patience, and respect for yourself, your partner, and your child. Simply put, it’s not easy—but the best things in life seldom are!
Whether it’s your first week of parenting, or you’ve been learning the ropes for a while, here are a few tips to help you gain confidence in your abilities so you can focus on the things that truly matter: the experience and the memories made when you’re a parent.
Don’t Welcome Negative or Bad Advice
Just because someone’s been there before does not mean that they know better. They do not live in your shoes, and they do not know your child the way you do. What worked for them might not work for you.
Trust your instincts! You know your child, and if you feel something is wrong, speak to your pediatrician. Even if you’re tempted to try the tips your neighbour with three kids is sharing, their advice might be outdated, or it might not be a good fit for you.
You aren’t under obligation to listen to negative or bad advice, and you’ll likely know it when you hear it.
Know Yourself and Establish Your Own Rules, Values, And Priorities
You are still the same person you were before you became a parent. So you shouldn’t try to be someone you’re not. Sure, you probably don’t go out as often—or ever. But who you are at your core hasn’t changed.
Don’t lose sight of yourself to try to become the perfect parent. Be yourself, accept who you are as a person, and allow that to inform who you are as a parent. At the same time, let your child grow to become the person they are with your patience, nurturing, and unconditional love.
Overcome “Bad Mommy” Syndrome
New parents tend feel tremendous guilt for so many things. This is totally normal, but you can’t be too hard on yourself. Life happens and you have to return to work. Babies and children will trip, hurt themselves, and struggle when you say no. That’s just part of growing up.
So instead of dwelling on how bad of a parent you are, you should weigh the severity of the situation. Did you put your child’s life in danger? No. Did you do something cruel and unusual? Not at all.
You are not a bad person if your little one stubs their toe, scrapes their knee, or gets a bruise. In case you hadn’t noticed it, kids are pretty accident-prone! Try as you might, you can’t protect your child from every little thing. Focus on what you can do to help with the situation, not on any perceived “failings” you might have had.
You are doing great!
Take Time for Yourself
Just like finding a healthy work-life balance, parents need to find a healthy balance between parenting and having time for themselves.
Whether it’s a day, an hour, or 15 minutes, take time for yourself to recharge. This will make you parent better because you will be refreshed and less likely to become impatient, irritable, or frustrated. Everyone needs some time for themselves. So take a bubble bath, read, listen to your favourite tunes, exercise, do yoga, or even take a nap.
We all have favourite pastimes, so do something that you love to nourish yourself emotionally.
Take Time to Get To Know Your Kids
Life can be hectic. And even if you’re with your baby 24/7, how much of that time are you undistracted? It’s important for both you and your baby to be in the moment, spending time together without any distractions.
You will get to know your child better and notice all the milestones they’re accomplishing. This, in turn, will remind you of the great job you’re doing as a parent.
Be Decisive and Trust Your Intuition
The old saying, “Mother knows best,” can correlate with “a mother’s instinct.” You know your baby better than anyone else does. So keep this in mind when making decisions.
As a new parent, go with your instinct to make decisions quickly and with confidence. Like a multiple-choice exam, the first choice you go with is most likely the right one, especially when it comes to your baby.
Don’t Hide How You’re Feeling
Parents are allowed to cry too. It’s a completely normal response to overwhelming emotions. So if you need to cry out of anxiety, sadness, anger, fear, frustration, or fatigue, don’t repress your emotions for the sake of your baby.
It can be good for babies and young children to see their parents upset, as long as it’s not all the time or for unjustified reasons. And if your baby starts to cry or look scared, you should regain composure as soon as possible.
Babies learn how to self-soothe from watching their parents do the same. As your child gets older, you can explain why you were sad and that you feel better now.
Be Cognitive of Competitive Friends
Babies reach developmental milestones at various paces. One baby could start walking at a year, while another is still learning to crawl. So if you have a friend who makes you feel bad because your baby isn’t developing as quickly as her child, remember that all babies are different.
It doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent. And a great response to any competition is happiness for your child’s development, no matter what stage they’re at.
Judgement Is Inevitable, So Try to Shake It Off
Everyone and their moms have an opinion when it comes to parenting. You will likely encounter judgement about your parenting style on a regular basis—whether with stares from strangers in public, advice you didn’t ask for, or comments that come across as condescending or downright hurtful.
It’s okay to become annoyed or upset with this judgement. But judgement is inevitable as a parent, so you’re better off accepting that it will happen regardless of what you do and shake it off.
You shouldn’t let it negatively affect how you see yourself as a parent or make you second-guess yourself. You know what’s best for your child.
Ask for Guidance from Those You Trust
You might be afraid to ask for help. But remember, the parents you go to for advice were once new parents too. And they probably felt as scared and clueless as you feel at times. There’s no shame in asking for parenting advice, especially from those you trust and who have been or are going through the exact same things you’re experiencing.
Be Open, Humble, And Learn from Mistakes
Mistakes will happen, change will happen, and at the end of the day, growth will happen. So be patient, be humble, and be open to things. As a person and a parent, you’ll stumble at times. But if you pick yourself up, being a confident mom (or dad), you’ll learn from your mistakes and become a better person and parent along the way.
Have Safe, Family Fun in Ottawa This Halloween with These Trick-Or-Treating Safety Tips
It’s that time of year for jack-o-lanterns, trick-or-treating, and ghouling around! While your kids love dressing up and experiencing a life of wonder and fantasy, the reality is that there are dangers to be aware of.
Whether you’re hosting a Halloween Party for the kids, taking them trick-or-treating, or staying home to hand out candy, you can still have family fun in Ottawa while being safe on Halloween.
So follow this safety guide to enjoy this spooky time of year safely and securely with your loved ones.
Make sure your kids know the rules of safely walking along roads. Ideally, they will only walk on sidewalks. But if there are no sidewalks, they should walk as close to the curb as possible and in the direction facing traffic so they can see cars approaching.
Kids should always look both ways before crossing the street, ideally left, right, then left again. And they should only cross at street corners, crosswalks, and traffic lights. Kids also need to keep an eye on cars that are backing up or turning.
Careful While Carving
Carving pumpkins is a fun Halloween tradition. But it is hazardous for young kids. So have your young children paint pumpkins. Or, let them draw a face with a marker so you can carve the pumpkin afterwards.
Use Candles with Care
Candles are a fire and burn hazard, especially when left unattended in jack-o-lanterns. So keep your lit pumpkins on a sturdy surface away from flammable materials, like curtains. And consider using a flashlight, glow stick, or battery-operated candle in your jack-o-lantern instead.
When choosing a costume with your kids, keep these costume tips in mind.
When making or buying your kids’ costumes, choose light-coloured material that will help keep your kids visible at night. Also place reflective tape or stickers on your kids’ costumes and give them glowing wristbands and flashlights. This will make it easier for drivers to see your kids when they are walking around at night.
Size It Right
A well-fitted costume will prevent trips, slips, and falls. So make sure your kids’ costumes, including their shoes, aren’t too big or long. And don’t choose shoes that are difficult to walk in, such as heels.
If the shoes have laces, double-knot the laces. And if the weather is chilly, layer up your kids’ costumes so they will be warm and comfortable outside.
Masks can obstruct your kids’ views of their surroundings, posing a safety risk especially when they are crossing the street. So to ensure your kids can see everything around them, including vehicles, skip the masks and opt for a hypoallergenic, non-toxic makeup kit to paint their faces with. But make sure to wash off the makeup thoroughly before bed.
Limit Props and Accessories
Costume props, especially pointed ones, are often a poking hazard. And hats and headpieces can also obstruct your child’s vision. So consider giving your kids useful accessories like flashlights and glowing wristbands. And only use accessories and costumes that are flame resistant.
Trick-Or-Treating the Smart Way
During the most fun night of the year, follow these trick-or-treating safety tips.
Accompany Your Kids
If your kids are young, especially under 12, you should accompany them while trick-or-treating. Also label their costumes with your address and contact information.
Kids ages 12 and older are usually fine to go trick-or-treating with a group of friends instead.
Set Ground Rules
Make a rule that your kids cannot eat any candy until they get home and you go through it.
For older kids who are trick-or-treating with friends, set a curfew. And make sure your kid has a watch or phone with them to keep track of the time.
Plan the route they should follow. Ask them to call if they decide to go off-route, e.g. on a different street that isn’t part of your original plan. And discuss other safety rules, such as calling 9-1-1 if there’s an emergency.
They should also never go into a stranger’s car or house or approach a house without any lights on.
Go Through Every Piece of Candy
Inspect your kids’ candy before allowing them to dig in. Discard anything that is questionable, such as torn packaging and packaging that isn’t sealed.
If you have young children, remove any gum, hard candies, and nuts, as these are choking hazards.
Check Labels for Food Allergies
If any of your kids have food allergies, carefully read the candy labels for warnings. Many candies are manufactured in facilities that could put them in contact with allergens. Whereas some candies will specifically have a logo on the label saying, “Made in a Nut-Free Facility.”
You might want your kid to carry a cell phone in case of an emergency. But your kids should not be on their phones or other devices while trick-or-treating. They should have their heads up at all times to avoid tripping and falling. And they should be looking both ways before crossing the street, keeping their heads up the whole time.
If left alone with their bags of Halloween candy, kids can overindulge. So ration their candy by only allowing them to eat a few pieces a day. Or, consider trading their candy in for a gift, such as a toy, book, or outing. Too much sugar is unhealthy and will also cause cavities. So also make sure your kids brush their teeth properly after eating candy.
Getting Your House Trick-Or-Treat Ready
If you’re planning to hand out candy on Halloween, make sure your home is safe for trick-or-treaters passing by.
Clean Leaves, Snow, and Other Debris
Remove any slipping or tripping hazards from the front of your home. Rake leaves on your lawn and remove wet leaves and debris from your steps, walkway, driveway, and sidewalk.
If it has snowed, shovel your steps, walkway, and driveway, and add sand or salt to any ice.
Remove Obvious Obstacles
Clear away any obstacles in the path of trick-or-treaters, whether on your steps, walkway, driveway, or lawn. These include shovels, rakes, salt or sandbags, toys, bicycles, hoses, and lawn decorations.
Keep the Lights On
Turn on your outdoor lights and replace any burnt-out bulbs so kids can walk safely to and from your house with clear visibility of their surroundings. If it’s too dark, kids could trip and fall.
Lastly, if you have any pets, make sure they won’t get out or scare trick-or-treaters who come to your door.
Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids and adults alike. So follow these Halloween safety tips to make the most of this special day with your family while being safe.
No matter what type of activities your children are interested in, here’s a look at how extracurricular activities help kids learn, grow, and have fun.
Why Is It Important to Be Involved in Extracurricular Activities?
Extracurricular activities let children explore new interests and discover activities they are passionate about. This could be a sport, learning an instrument, or learning how to dance.
These activities teach kids the valuable social skill of teamwork so they can thrive socially and in their careers.
Instead of solely focusing on school with the rest of their time on screens, kids can have a chance to develop as human beings by being social and doing something they are passionate about.
Extracurricular activities promote:
Whether on a kids sports team, in a ballet class, or in a special-interest club, participants work together, share ideas, and resolve conflicts, while also helping to improve their language skills.
A sense of shared interests and teamwork help children form bonds and meaningful relationships with others. Through these experiences, kids develop self-confidence, empathy, trust, self-control, and stress-management skills.
For most activities, kids will develop fine or gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and especially fitness, agility, and strength if in sports, dance, or martial arts.
Whatever activity your child chooses, they will develop cognitive skills as their brain makes new connections while learning new skills. They may learn critical thinking, creative thinking, problem-solving, prediction, logic, and strategy.
What are Some Examples of Extracurricular Activities?
There are so many activities available for children (and adults) to enjoy after work and school. Once you find out what your children are interested in, look up local clubs, schools, and programs that offer these extracurricular activities for kids:
Sports—kids can join teams or sign up for lessons, like swimming;
Community activities—like volunteering at a local retirement home;
Camps for kids, including art camp and sports camp;
How Does Sport Help Students in School?
Children who are involved in after-school sports must develop time-management skills to balance homework and sports. As a result, they tend to do better in school because they are less likely to procrastinate on school work and are more likely to be motivated to get their work done.
Time management also requires organizational skills, which further helps with academic performance. And a boost in self-esteem from playing in kids sports teams will help keep your children happier and on track with school.
Why You Should Consider Enrolling Your Kids in Extracurricular Activities
Enrolling your children in these activities will help them develop skills that will help them succeed throughout life, such as social, leadership, teamwork, and critical thinking skills. These activities also:
Give your kids an opportunity to make new friends with shared interests;
Provide kids with a sense of responsibility and commitment both in the activity and in other areas of their lives;
Improve time management skills and the ability to prioritize different commitments, which in turn helps to manage stress;
Look good on a college or university application because they show that your child can successfully juggle school and activities (has time management skills);
Improve academic performance;
Occupy some of your childs free time with fun, social, productive, and creative activities;
Allow your children the opportunity to discover a passion that could turn into a lifetime hobby or even a career.
How Extracurricular Activities Help Improve Self-Esteem
Some children struggle with self-esteem issues due to difficulties in school. They may feel overwhelmed, stressed, and helpless and as though they are unable to fulfill their role as an academic. But finding something that they are good at can help boost their self-esteem, mental health, and motivation to take on challenges in life.
The feeling of accomplishment when learning a new skill helps increase self-esteem, especially when your child is passionate about the activity. Children feel a sense of self-worth and confidence as they excel in an activity they’re learning. Discovering a passion for something is probably one of the most fulfilling feelings for anyone.
Also, activities that involve teamwork and obtaining goals will also help build your child’s confidence and self-esteem. It’s important for everyone to have goals in life as it keeps us motivated and working toward self-improvement.
Teaching your child to set and obtain goals can keep them focused and motivated. Furthermore, building confidence in a relaxed, fun setting can help prepare your child to try new things, master new skills, and have the tools and skills needed to face and tackle new challenges throughout life.
Here are some ways you can help boost your child’s self-esteem with extracurricular activities:
Focus on their strengths
If your child enjoys a specific type of activity at home or in school, then enroll them in classes or on a team for that activity.
Look for activities that develop your child’s learning and attention skills
Drama can help improve reading skills, while dance and yoga help develop motor control and coordination. To develop problem-solving skills, a chess or robotics club could help.
Look for hidden talents
If your child has poor self-esteem, they might not want to try a new activity out of fear of failure. So once you’ve found an activity they are interested in, ask that they try it, and let them decide whether they continue with the activity.
Turns children into well-rounded individuals
Instead of just focusing on their academic achievement, they will also focus on other equally important areas of life, developing life skills that may not be learned in the classroom.
Extracurricular activities are all-encompassing as they help to nurture children on an intellectual, creative, physical, and emotional level. Watch as they allow your child to grow out of their shell and blossom into a happy, positive, and confident being who is on the right path to living whole, fulfilling live.
A Look at How Technology Influences Child Development
Toddlers have a way with technology. They can pick up a tablet and start swiping for hours. Many parents enjoy these fleeting moments of quiet they get when their children are distracted by these electronic devices.
While some parents swear on technology for their kids’ learning and entertainment, others may be wary of the effects technology has on a developing brain.
There are two schools of thought about the effects of technology on childhood development. It’s either negative and should be limited. Or it’s an incredible benefit and opportunity.
The truth, it would seem, lies somewhere in the middle. Technology is a tool that can be used effectively or ineffectively. And how it impacts a child largely depends on how, when, and why it is used.
This article will examine both sides of the debate and the potential issues that may arise from using technology, as well as many of the benefits.
How Are Children Using Technology?
Young children often use technology for games, reading, learning, and entertainment. Older children and teens use technology for passive entertainment, video games, social media, and looking up information.
Young children are more likely to play on the household tablet or watch television shows, while older kids tend to have their own personal smartphones, computers, and video game consoles.
How Does Technology Impact (Or Not Impact) Childhood Development?
Technology can be both beneficial and harmful to the way children think.
When technology is used to distract a toddler, it may interfere with their social-emotional development and their ability to learn self-regulation. Especially if used to calm young children by distracting them.
Some pediatric studies suggest that interactive screen time for children below the age of three may impair a child’s development of the skills needed for maths and science.
However, other studies suggest that toddlers’ use of mobile devices may benefit them in terms of early literacy skills development and better academic engagement for children with autism.
Children who are closer to school age can benefit from well-researched, early-learning television shows, like Sesame Street. They can also develop vocabulary and reading comprehension with electronic books and learn-to-read apps on smartphones and tablets.
Are There Any Issues That Might Be Caused by Technology?
Technology has a great influence on the way children think, specifically their:
Decision making; and,
A child’s attention—their ability to focus consistently and effectively—affects most aspects of their growth. Without attention, it’s difficult to develop other skills that rely on this ability to think, including:
A child’s environment directly influences attention development. For example, children who read a lot rely on a focused and consistent attention, memory, and imagination.
But television and the Internet provide visual stimulation, making kids less reliant on the need to focus intently or rely on memory and imagination.
As a result, technology conditions a child’s brain to pay attention in a very different way than reading—e.g. more distractions and decreased reliance on memory and imagination.
But instead of making children less intelligent, technology may just be making children different. For example, video games and other screen media can improve:
Reaction times; and,
The ability to identify details among the clutter.
How Do Children Grow and Develop?
Children reach many developmental milestones early on in life. They learn through active engagement and experiences with their parents. And they develop empathy, problem-solving skills, and other types of social interactions through unstructured play and communication with peers at home and at a daycare in Ottawa.
For example, a young child can develop sensorimotor, visual-motor, and early math skills by playing with building blocks. These skills are part of the foundation for the learning and application of maths and science.
Why It’s Worth It to Think About How Children Use Technology
Whether you ban screens at home or allow plenty of screen time, it’s important to understand the relationship between children and technology. A device cannot replace the valuable human interactions of parent and child, and child and siblings. But technology will make its way into your child’s life sooner or later.
So be mindful of how much time your kids spend on their devices. And try to limit screen time so your kids can play, read, and do other fun activities with you, your family, and their peers.
Ways to Use Technology to Support Learning
If there is a learning app you’d like your child to use on your phone or tablet, try the app first to see how it will benefit your child. The more engaging and interactive the app, the more real the game is from a toddler’s perspective.
It also helps to increase human-to-human interaction with children. Dedicate one hour of unplugged family time so kids can discover other activities and benefit from quality time spent with family away from television and mobile devices.
Technology is unavoidable today. And the wide-spread use of technology in the home and at school is still relatively new. So there is no definitive answer as to whether or not young children should use it.
Technology can be a very useful and helpful tool for child development if used in the right way, and not used all the time, or as a replacement for other activities.
Like with all things in life, moderation is key. So finding a healthy balance between meaningful and engaging human interactions and screen time is probably the best solution for both children and adults.