Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014


                    With the Holidays upon us, there’s no doubt a lot of chatter about “presents”—and that chatter most likely revolves around getting them. Everyone likes receiving gifts this time of year—especially the little ones.
       But this season, as you set out to fulfill their wish lists, whether for Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa—why not take the opportunity to teach a lesson in giving. After all, “Charity” begins at home. I like to play a game of: “Let’s Make a Deal.”  Tell your youngster that for every new toy they expect to receive-- they need to donate a toy that they already have, but have outgrown. It will be easier to part with the toy since it’s no longer used. You’ll be instilling a sense of pride in your child by explaining how happy they’re making someone else's holiday. You can help them understand by reminding them how happy they are when they open gifts.
      You can also teach your children about giving by having them pick out a present that’s NOT for them, but that they’ll donate to someone in need.
      Even older kids can get in on the action. Have them clean out their closets of all the clothes they never wear to make room for all the new incoming outfits. You might even give it a go.
      There are lots of organizations where you and your kids can donate. Try:

Monday, December 15, 2014


It’s inevitable! If you have kids, sooner or later you’re going to hear: “Mommy, Daddy— can we get a dog? Cat? Rabbit? Goldfish? Hamster? Well, you get the idea.
Kids and pets just seem to go hand-in-hand, and there’s actually some science to back up the synergy. Unless allergies are a major concern, experts in the area of childhood development say pets provide lots of benefits when it comes to child rearing.
    Not only do our furry, feathery or fishy friends offer constant companionship and unconditional love, but they also teach responsibility.  For the very young, watching you set an example caring for the family pet teaches nurturing.  Even toddlers can help you feed Fido and that shows the importance of compassion.  Older children can take on more of the daily care by cleaning up after their pet, walking and bathing them as well. This creates self-esteem as your child learns that he or she is an active, necessary component in keeping the family pet healthy and happy.
    Put a pet in the mix and experts say kids more easily interact socially with one another, tend to develop motor skills sooner through play and improve cognitive skills because interest levels for reading and researching about their pet tend to rise.
    If you are thinking about getting a pet, just remember it’s an important decision that shouldn’t be made lightly. Having a pet is a big commitment and the pet picked should be age appropriate for your child/children. But if you and your kids are willing to make that commitment, the years of joy you’ll receive are worth every effort.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Here’s wishing you the happiest Thanksgiving Day ever! As you gather around your table thankful for all the joys in your life, whatever they may be— take the opportunity to use this special dinner as a starting point to make family dinner a regular event.  It’s the perfect time and place to bond with your loved ones, catch-up on everything everyone’s doing, and create lasting memories while enjoying a delicious meal. With hectic work and school schedules and all those extracurricular activities it can be tough to find the time for family dinner, but the benefits are worth the extra effort. Studies show that children in families sharing dinner at least three times a week get better grades, have lower addiction rates, less depression,  healthier eating habits, and are less likely to be overweight or suffer from an eating disorder.  So whether you’re a gourmet cook or just like to order in, try making family dinner a part of your daily routine. The Family Dinner Project has great tips to get your started. Check it out at

Saturday, November 22, 2014


The Saturday before Thanksgiving was  officially designated as National Adoption Day 14 years ago, to raise awareness of the more than 100,000 foster children waiting to be adopted into their forever families.
Not only does National Adoption Day raise awareness, but its a day when families and courts come together to finalize adoptions for thousands of kids from foster care.
Congratulations to all the families celebrating today and to every family experiencing the delight of adoption.
For more information on National Adoption Day go to:

Thursday, November 20, 2014


They’re Back!!  The Holidays are here and that means family, fun and sometimes: feuds. When it comes to the holidays— expectations run high and everyone wants to have quality time with the kids. That’s how it should be, but to make your youngsters’ holidays everything you and they dream they should be— follow these six steps:
                1). Manage expectations- Often our fantasies don’t live up to reality, but letting go of the notion of a perfect holiday allows you to enjoy the actual holiday you’re having.
                2). Keep your children in the traditions they’re accustomed to. It’s tempting to want to take your kids across country to visit relatives, but having a holiday where they feel familiar, safe and secure is paramount.
                3). Familiar doesn’t mean monotonous. Invite your far away relatives to visit you. Keep the old traditions but sprinkle in a few new ones too. —With adopted children, when appropriate, try an maintain a relationship with the birth family and include them in the festivities.  If your child is adopted from another culture, incorporate holiday customs from that culture.
                4). Understand that there will be mixed emotions, especially for older children, so acknowledge your kid’s feelings and build trust so that they can be open with you.
                5). If you’ re co-parenting make sure you have a plan in place that allows the kids to see both parents, always remember your children have a different relationship with your ex than you do.
                6). Most importantly, always make what your children need a priority over what you want.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Summer Water Safety

As summer gets into full swing, it is extremely important to teach your children about water safety. More children die in Florida from drowning than in any other state. Don't assume that your child understands danger. There are classes to protect all ages of children from infant to toddler and beyond.
Here are some links to consider:

YMCA Safe Start

Pool Safety

Drowning Prevention