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A dad once told me, "If you read to your child every night, you'll always stay close."

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A dad once told me that the key to staying close to your kids is to read to them every day. I like this advice. And I have read to Conor every night of his life unless I was away on business. And even then, a couple of times I made a video of me reading and sent it to him. Tonight, we're cracking open a new book, Rudyard Kipling's, "Just so Stories." My dad read me this book when I was a kid and I loved it. I think there might be something to the advice from that dad because my son and I are extremely close. Then again, he's only two years old. Still plenty of time for him to decide I don't know crap.

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Why are children scared of the dark

Fear of the dark is common at the age of about three years old. It occurs suddenly because children’s imagination starts to come alive at two and is often in full swing by the age of three.
Once the imagination kicks into gear, it’s difficult for a child of this age to tell the difference between fantasy and reality. And in the confusion, a dragon or medieval knight that they saw at a party or read in a storybook can find itself alive in their real world. And darkness represents the bridge between that fantasy and reality.
Most kids grow out of this phase in a matter of weeks or months. So be patient and don’t try to rush a child through this phase as it may actually prolong it. Tips include;
  1. Don’t tease the child. It’s very real to them and it can prolong the stage.
  2. Give one of his stuffed animals the title of ‘protector’ to help him as a friend to accompany him and keep him safe.
  3. Use a night light so he can see something and not make up shapes in the void of nothingness.
  4. Don’t bring him into your room to make him feel better. It only reinforces that his room isn’t safe after all. Instead, visit his room so he can see the monsters aren’t the problem and mom and dad know this and are willing to go into the room.
(Note: As my son goes through this stage, I learned of this developmental stage from Claire Lerner, LCSW, a child development specialist.)


10 ways to get your picky eater to eat better

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Why some kids can eat anything and others are picky eaters is a mystery. Some parents say they just feed their kids what the rest of the family is eating and they learn to eat it or go to bed hungry. While this sounds cruel to parents with picky eaters, think of it a different way; when you prepare a meal for the family, make sure it has enough variety that the kids have a good opportunity to find something in the meal that they will eat. In due time, they will learn to try other things that they will discover they actually like.

That said, there are ways to get kids to eat better. Here's some things to think about;

1. Kids need to eat every three to four hours. Schedules are important and when you begin to regulate a feeding schedule, you're on the right track The rule is 3 meals, 2 snacks and lots of fluids. Snacks might include carrots, pretzels, yogurt and water.
2. Respect your kid's appetite or lack thereof. If you try to force or bribe your child, you could be reinforcing a power struggle of food. Mealtime shouldn't be associated with anxiety or frustration. Try smaller portions so they're not overwhelmed.
FULL STORY...
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This week -"There's An Elephant In The Bathtub" by Roger Bradfield

Many research studies show that boys learn to read at a slower pace than girls because they don't have male figures in their lives that read. So I've decided to ask men to read outloud to kids so that boys can see that it's cool to read. VISIT THE READING ROOM...