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Stay sane while traveling with kids this season

December 12, 2017

By Jessica Vician

Stay sane while traveling with kids this season

Are you traveling with your family this winter? Whether it's by plane, train, bus, or car, traveling with kids can be stressful for everyone. At YOU Parent, we gathered the best advice from mothers of kids of all ages to help you keep your sanity (and your kids' too). 

Traveling with an infant

Traveling with an infant is a daunting task, but the more practice you have, the easier it will become, as you will learn what works best for your family.

5 ways to make flying with kids easier

This mom jotted down the best advice for flying with kids after returning from a flight the night before. Read her fresh perspective that includes tips from other parents as well.  

Paisanos: 3 tips to help your child during the holidays

Are you taking your kids out of school to travel over the holiday? Whether they'll be gone for three weeks or three days, read this mom's advice to keep your kids actively learning while they're away.

What are your best tips for traveling with kids? Share them in the comments below. 

Tags :  infantbabyelementaryholidays
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Keep these December holidays on your list

December 5, 2017

By Jessica Vician

Keep these December holidays on your list

One of the great things about living in a country with people who practice so many religions and come from so many countries and cultures is learning about their traditions and sharing in their holiday celebrations. December is a busy time for many religions and cultures, why not plan at least one activity around a tradition, religion, or culture outside of your own? Here are some ideas:

Hanukkah—December 12–20
Bring a dreidel toy home and play throughout the week. At the end of each game, the child with the most gelt, candy coins that represent charity, wins.

Las Posadas—December 16–24
Join or host a Las Posadas celebration with other families. The kids can join in that night's procession, break star-shaped piñatas, and everyone can enjoy traditional foods like tamales, warm punch, and hot chocolate.

Winter Solstice—December 21
Each culture has a different way of celebrating the winter solstice, so find a festivity in your neighborhood. Expect feasting, singing, and dancing, and maybe even a bonfire. 

Christmas—December 25
Santa has become a Christmas favorite for kids of many religions, but the reason Christians celebrate Christmas is to honor Jesus Christ's birthday. Throughout his life, Jesus was charitable and giving. If Santa brings gifts to your children this year, ask them to donate some of their old toys to kids who are less fortunate. 

Kwanzaa—December 26–January 1
As families and cultures merge, hold on to traditions from your family's past and teach them to your child. Just as each day of Kwanzaa focuses on a principle that is part of the African heritage, you can focus on your family's culture and history, whether it's an African, European, Asian, South American, or Native American. Teach your child about his or her ancestors and what they overcame to live their life and have a family that led to your family today.

Don't forget other big holidays coming up in the first half of 2018­. Chinese New Year is on January 28, Purim begins February 28, Passover begins March 30, Easter is on April 1, and Ramadan begins May 15.

Tags :  holidaysculture
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Parent-School Partnerships: An Education Must

October 10, 2017

By Dr. Bruce Machiafava

Parent-School Partnerships: An Education Must

Parent involvement is an essential element in education today. Whether your child attends a public or private school, principals, teachers, and administrators devote much time and energy to involving parents in their children’s schools. A strong partnership between parents and the school leads to a higher rate of student success.

What makes parent engagement so crucial to student success? As Sunny P. Chico, the author of the YOU: Your Child's First Teacher 3-book set explains, "Over 92 percent of a child's life from birth to age 18 is spent at home or doing parent-approved activities. Only 8 percent of a child's life in the same time period is spent at school." With so much of a child's life influenced by parental decisions, our children will learn from our actions.

This learning begins at birth and continues right up to kindergarten. During these years children acquire an amazing amount of knowledge. They learn to walk, run, and play games and sports. They acquire a language (sometimes two), they learn to read, and they develop social skills. They explore their world, starting with what they see in their cribs and continuing through their home and neighborhood. 

This is quite a curriculum. It can be very challenging for many parents. Unfortunately, most schools don’t become involved with these children until they are officially enrolled in school. So parents need to seek help in being the first teachers from social agencies, formal and informal groups of parents, family members and whatever help books and videos they can find.

Once the child enters school, the parent is largely relieved of the responsibility for formal education; the professional teachers take over. The parent’s role shifts to two major responsibilities: supporting the child in learning what is taught at school and advocating for the child with the school.

Supporting learning at home involves such activities as:

Readiness
Insuring good health, seeing that the child eats properly and sleeps enough, making sure the backpack has the required books, pencils, assignments due, etc.

An Environment for Learning

This environment can be a room or a desk in a corner or the kitchen table. It must be free from TV, music, phones, and other distractions. Multitasking rarely works for studying.

Homework

Parents should guide and supervise a child’s homework but not do it. Know the assignment and the due date and check to see what grade the teacher gives.

Communicate

Speak with the teacher on a regular basis, not just when there’s a problem. Advocating for one’s child may require intervening when grades are suffering or if a behavior problem has occurred. This doesn’t mean a confrontation with the teacher or the principal. Most issues can be resolved if the parent and the teacher or principal work together.

When parents partner with the school to continue classroom learning at home, students benefit. Reach out to your child's principal and teachers today to see how you can help at home.

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How to help your teen build confidence

September 26, 2017

By Jessica Vician

How to help your teen build confidence

Building confidence isn't easy—even as adults we must to pick ourselves up and remember why we're awesome. Sometimes it takes a reminder from a friend, other times it's the perspective of what we've accomplished that gives us confidence.

That perspective isn't as accessible for a teenager, who has just started figuring a little bit of life out, but it's important that they start to build confidence to help them succeed in their next life adventure—college.

When your child goes to college, they won't have you or their high school friends to prop them up. They'll be alone, for maybe the first time ever, and need to learn how to harness motivation to go to class and study and summon confidence to make new friends and make good decisions.

How can you help them build this confidence now, while they're in high school? Extracurricular activities are a great first step for three reasons.

  1. Social
    Your teenager will meet people they might not otherwise interact with through these activities. By finding an activity that they're interested in, they will make new friends who share the same interests. That skill will accompany them to college when it's time to make new friends and try new activities.
  2. Academic
    YDuring meetings or activities, your teen will build skills that they might not build in the classroom. From teamwork to finding an outlet for creativity to developing leadership skills, your child can become a better student because of the skills they develop in extracurricular activities.
  3. Prepare for College
    Colleges and universities seek well-rounded students who have demonstrated a strong academic record and participate in extracurricular activities. The extra work shows a dedication outside of school and that the student can still earn good grades while doing something outside of the classroom.

If your teenager is initially hesitant to join clubs or other extracurricular activities, remind them how important they are for college applications. If they are looking forward to going away to school, the motivation to boost their chances of getting into their school of choice should encourage them to join one or two organizations. As your teen participates more frequently, they will build those skills and in turn, build confidence.

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It's National Hispanic Heritage Month!

September 19, 2017

By Jessica Vician

It's National Hispanic Heritage Month!

Since 1988, the United States has celebrated National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. Most of the time when we honor a specific heritage over 30 to 31 days, it takes place within one month, but not National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Why does this celebration occur during the last half of September and the first half of October? The answer lies in what we are honoring in that 30-day period.

Mexican Independence Day is celebrated on September 16. But National Hispanic Heritage Month doesn’t only honor Mexican-Americans. We also celebrate the histories and cultures of Americans with ancestral backgrounds from Spain, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Many of the countries in those areas celebrate significant days that fall between the 15th of September and the 15th of October. For example, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Costa Rica all celebrate their independence days on September 15. Chile celebrates on September 18.

On October 12, many of these Spanish-speaking countries celebrate día de la raza (Day of the Race), which is referred to as Columbus Day in English and the U.S. On this day, we remember what happened after Christopher Columbus landed in the now-Bahamas. Notably, the multi-cultural society we live in today is the result of the blending of European and indigenous cultures throughout North, Central, and South America.

These are just four dates in Hispanic history, but due to the importance of each of them and the celebrations we hold around them, the United States observes National Hispanic Heritage Month in this unique manner as the 30 days between September 15 and October 15.

At YOU Parent, we encourage you to share these stories of independence and celebration with your children. How have you honored National Hispanic Heritage Month? Tell us in the comments below.

Tags :  holidaysculture
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