My son is 15, getting ready to finish his freshman year of high school. Up until the second semester of this school year, he has attended a conventional brick-and-mortar school. Now, he attends a virtual charter school through K12.
Being an adoptive parent presents you with a very unique set of challenges. Not only do you need to be familiar with the standard parenting techniques, but you also need to be able to handle some other issues.
There will be inevitable questions from your child about who their birth parents are. You need to be sure you’re ready to tackle any difficult questions as and when they present themselves. This article lists 8 tips on how to talk with your child about this subject.
1. Plan in Advance
If you have an adopted child, you know they’re eventually going to have questions about their own background. Since certain questions are inevitable, you should make sure you have a direct plan of action for when they’re asked.
Make sure to discuss this extensively with your partner so you’re both on the same page. You might not want to reveal all the details about your child’s past; the two of you might decide some things are better left until your child is older.
2. Stay Positive
When you tell your adopted child about their past, the overall message should always be a positive one. Make sure you convey that your child is loved and that they’re a welcome part of your family.
In a lot of cases, you might also want to reiterate their birth parents love them as well. You might be able to explain in a positive way why they had to give your child up for adoption.
3. Be Honest But Age-Appropriate
You should always be honest with your child about their history, but you shouldn’t necessarily tell them everything straight away. Some information may be better handled when they’re more mature.
You should never make up stories about your child’s birth parents. It might work well in the short-term to simply tell your child what you think they want to hear, but in the long-run, it’s always going to backfire.
Don’t feel like you need to be able to answer every question. It’s better to say you don’t know the answers rather than make something up.
4. Keep in Touch with the Birth Parents
In most cases, the birth parents of your child will have requested a semi-open adoption. If this applies to you and your child, it’s essential that you keep to these agreements.
For the most part, keeping up a relationship with your child’s birth parents ends up being a positive experience. Visit this website to learn about DNA testing, which can help with finding birth parents.
In the event that such a reunion isn’t possible, you should try and be honest about it as soon as your child has the necessary emotional maturity. Never let your child think they’ll meet their birth parents one day if you know it will be impossible.
5. Celebrate the Adoption
The adoption of your child should be seen as a milestone to be cherished. Make sure you remember the date you adopted your child and consider celebrating it on an annual basis.
When you treat the anniversary of their adoption as a day to be remembered, they’re less likely to see their adoption as something to be ashamed of. If possible, you should consider getting the birth parents involved in the festivities.
You should also be aware of certain other annual events. For example, there is National Adoption Month and Birth Mother Day.
6. Learn About Your Child’s Background
Sometimes, when you adopt a child, they might be a different race to you and your partner. In this situation, you’ll find the questions start coming a lot sooner than they would if you were the same race.
Your child will probably have a lot of questions about the differences between their parents and them. When that time comes, you’ll need to have some good answers prepared.
Take the time to learn about your child’s ethnic and cultural background. When your adopted child is a different race, it can present you with a lot of problems you might not expect. For example, you might find it hard to style your daughter’s hair, since the techniques you need to use will differ from what you’re used to.
Taking the time to learn more about your child’s background can be very helpful in dealing with these sorts of issues.
7. Accept That Issues Are Inevitable
When you’re raising a child, there are always going to be issues. The majority of children experience some degree of emotional instability at one time or another.
There’s a good chance your adopted child will have some problems with their identity. This is normal for any child, but it can be especially difficult if your child was adopted.
Recognize that these kinds of issues are unavoidable. Just because your child struggles with their identity doesn’t mean you’ve failed as a parent. This is a natural part of raising a child, biological or adopted, so you shouldn’t let it demoralize you.
8. Don’t Avoid Talking
You or your partner should never avoid talking about your child’s birth parents because it makes you uncomfortable. While it’s certainly appropriate to wait until your child is older to divulge certain aspects of their story, you shouldn’t try to get out of a difficult conversation by changing the subject.
Avoid uncomfortable feelings when talking about your child’s birth parents by making sure you’re well-prepared for any questions your child might ask.
Be Prepared to Talk About Birth Parents
As an adoptive parent, preparation is your greatest asset. Make sure you and your partner develop a plan of action as to how you’ll approach difficult subjects, such as who the birth parents are. This will ensure that you’re well-equipped to handle any difficult questions whenever they come up.
Recognize that being an adoptive parent is not an easy path. But you should also appreciate that being an adoptive parent is an incredibly rewarding experience. However you look at it, you’re adding to and enriching your family.
Planning on having a biological child soon? Here’s what you need to know about maternity leave.
It’s not a secret that your body changes during pregnancy; it needs to accommodate a growing human being inside of you.
Which is why your stomach muscles stretch, your body creates a placenta for your baby, and your hips widen in preparation for the birth.
But something that a lot of women overlook, or forget, is that your post pregnancy body also continues to change.
Keep on reading to find out how your body will continue to physically change after giving birth, to meet the new demands of looking after your new-born baby.
10 Miraculous Things That Happen with a Post Pregnancy Body
Your body experiences a lot of hormones during pregnancy and even after you give birth. These hormones can change your body both physically and mentally, so it is important that you prepare yourself for these miraculous changes.
1. Larger Breasts
Your breasts will grow during pregnancy, but after giving birth, your breasts will be larger than they were before. This is perfectly natural.
After birth, your breasts get larger because your estrogen and progesterone hormone levels decrease, which allows prolactin (the hormone that allows you to start producing breastmilk) to take control.
Your body after birth will initially produce colostrum, a substance that is thicker than milk and high in nutrients and antibodies. Colostrum helps to protect your baby from bacteria and viruses and also helps your baby pass his/her first stool.
The increased blood flow and milk in your breasts will make them bigger and feel sorer for the first few days after birth.
The pain and discomfort you feel during breastfeeding can be relieved by frequently nursing your baby. You can also relieve pain by applying warm packs before breastfeeding and cold packs after feeding your baby.
2. Baggy Stomach
For two weeks or so, your post pregnancy body will have baggier skin, especially around your stomach area.
Why will you have a baggy stomach? Your stomach expands to accommodate for your baby during pregnancy.
Your stomach should return back to its old self after a few weeks. Breastfeeding helps to tighten your loose skin, as does a healthy diet.
Once your physician says it is okay for your body to do some exercise, you can try some gentle exercises to help tighten your muscles. Try going for a walk every day with your baby and be sure to visit here for more tips on how to lose your baby weight.
3. Hair Thinning
During pregnancy, your hair might have been thicker and fuller – due to the hormones in your body. However, after giving birth your hair will start thinning and falling out due to the new hormones in your body after birth.
Don’t worry your hair will return back to normal after a few weeks or months. To help repair your hair you can try and use organic shampoos and conditioners.
4. Weight Loss
A few weeks after you’ve given birth, your body will lose anywhere between four and six pounds of water weight. Well, there has to be something good that comes from needing to wee all the time right?
Women who are breastfeeding can also expect to lose more weight because nursing your baby can burn up to 500 calories.
If you practice a healthy diet and participate in the right amount of exercise (ask your doctor for more details about what is right for you) then you could be back to your old body sooner than you thought.
5. Loss of Control in the Pelvic Floor Area
Many women experience accidentally leaking urine after giving birth. This is completely natural.
Your pelvic floor just experienced a lot of pressure during labor and sometimes the signals that are normally sent from the bladder can be disrupted.
Doing pelvic floor exercises can help prevent bladder incontinence. Spending less time standing and more time sitting can also help to repair your pelvic floor.
If you are particularly concerned, you can discuss your bladder movements at your pelvic floor assessment. Which is usually 6 weeks after giving birth.
Your body will shed the uterus and any extra blood, so you can expect fairly heavy bleeding for about a week after you give birth.
The bleeding will be heavy for a week, with bright red blood, but after a week it should start to lighten. This will happen whether you have a vaginal delivery or a C-Section.
Speaking of bleeding, when can you expect to have your next period? This depends on whether you are breastfeeding or not.
Women who aren’t breastfeeding can expect their periods to return with 6 to 8 weeks.
Women who are breastfeeding can enjoy being period-free for longer. Your periods will start again depending on when you breastfeed less, which for many women is around 6 months after giving birth. Yay!
8. Being Very Emotional
Just because you might not have your period for a while, it doesn’t mean that you can’t expect a whole range of emotions.
This is very normal and is due to all the hormones that are in your body. You may cry more and feel more irritable. Your hormones will start to calm down after 10 days, so just breathe, you’re doing great mum!
9. Blurry Vision
If you notice you have drier eyes or blurrier vision than usual, this might be down to your pregnancy hormones. Once your hormone levels start to balance out again, your blurry vision or dry eyes should clear up.
If you are concerned about your vision or eyes, make sure you make an appointment with your optometrist.
10. Vaginal Dryness
Due to lower levels of estrogen in your body, you may encounter vagina dryness. Your body’s estrogen levels will eventually return to normal.
If you are ready for sex again and encounter vaginal dryness, be sure to use water-based lubricants and go slow and steady. You may encounter some pain or discomfort when you first have sex again after giving birth.
Every Body is Different
No one body is the same, so remember that you might encounter a range of different symptoms with your body after your baby. But it is all part of a natural journey.
Not sure if something is normal? There’s a lot of post pregnancy body information that is readily available for you, such as on websites, or in books and magazines.
Do not hesitate in contacting your doctor if you think something is wrong with your body.
And remember not to be embarrassed by any symptoms you encounter during or after giving birth – it is all natural.
Check out more parenting blogs for excellent tips and insightful advice from experts and other parents who have been there before.
What do you wish for your children as they grow older?
Kindness? Intelligence? Success? Good health?
We put everything we have into raising our kids to give them the best chance of having a good life.
But screen time is getting in the way of those efforts.
The amount of time children spend in front of screens has a direct effect on cognitive function. And it isn’t a good effect.
It’s impossible to completely break away from screens in the digital age we’re living in. Rather, we have to balance the negative effects by introducing more movement.
Exercise for kids promotes better mood, energy, sleep, and countless other physical benefits.
The common suggestion is at least one hour of activity every day. It depends on the intensity and what activity we’re talking about, but that’s a guideline.
So how do you get your kid moving in the right direction? Here are physical activities your kids will love, and their bodies will love too.
Most martial arts originated out of Asia and include five categories styles: striking (or stand-up), grappling (or ground fighting), throwing (or takedown), weapons-based, and low impact (or meditative).
Common martial arts practices in the United States are karate (striking), Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (grappling), and judo (throwing).
Overall, martial arts teaches self-defense, confidence, and discipline in a controlled environment.
We hope our children will never face dangerous situations and use self-defense. The reality is that anything could happen at any moment that threatens their safety.
Whether it’s a bully at school or someone on the street, martial arts give our kids with an ability to defend themselves.
Plus, it provides a competitive outlet to try their best at something.
Combine physical activity with internal growth and life skills. It will impact your children’s lives for years to come and keep them active and healthy.
If martial arts isn’t their thing, there’s always team sports.
Team sports such as soccer, basketball, and baseball are enjoyable aerobic exercises.
Aerobic exercise for kids gets them breathing faster, increasing their heart rate. This improves cardiovascular and immune function.
Not only that, team sports build character and instill values in children.
Working together with their peers requires learning teamwork, leadership, and communication skills. Being a part of a team involves time management and responsibility.
There are thousands of team sports that exist in the world. Find what peaks your child’s interests and go from there. Who knows, they could continue to play in recreational leagues for the rest of their lives.
If none of them do the trick, there’s always individual exercise.
Combine independence with vitamin D and you get outdoor activities.
Surfing, snowboarding, and skateboarding are both individual and group activities. This means there’s some freedom with time spent doing it.
After learning through either trial and error or lessons, they can exercise without having to follow a set schedule.
You can combine outdoor recreation with aerobic exercise or strength training. This could manifest in activities like running or rock climbing.
An added bonus of this type of physical activity is that it provides kids a lifelong interest to go to, even after they’re past the age of team sports.
Let’s face it — overstimulation is a result of the times we’re living in. There’s information coming at us from every direction at every moment because of technology.
We all experience this, of course, but our kids are growing up in it. What they experience at this age will affect them the rest of their lives.
Teaching our children yoga from a young age can combat this. It’s an introspective practice that teaches how to deal with mental and physical stress.
Studies are finding that yoga may alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. This may be due to the pranayama (breath work) involved.
Breathing techniques affect our heart rate and calming us down immediately.
The practice of yoga improves concentration and attention span as well.
As far as the exercise aspect goes, asanas (postures) improve strength, balance, and flexibility.
Find a studio near you that offers kids classes. If there aren’t any available, there are free classes online (this one is a Spiderman edition!)
Whether your kids become full-blown yogis or use yoga to supplement other physical activity, it’s a great practice to introduce them to.
Essential Part of Exercise for Kids: Safety
Speaking of introductions, make safety a baseline concern by introducing it to children at the beginning of any activity.
Remind them that they only have one brain and one body — you have to take care of it. That way, they’ll protect themselves even when you’re not around.
There are obvious safety concerns — such as wearing a helmet and protective gear — but others are more subtle.
Some sports (like skiing) need lessons rather than simply diving into it to ensure safety. Other sports are inherently dangerous because of high impact and speed.
Don’t let fear keep you from allowing your kids to try new things. Take into account the dangers of different activities and stay informed on relevant research.
Lead By Example
Exercise for kids is important but it’s just as important for you to stay moving. The health benefits are not limited to kids.
If you’re interested in similar physical activities, do them together. This also provides an opportunity to bond over mutual interest.
No matter what they choose to do, remember that they will follow your example. If you exercise and eat well, so will they.
Here are more ideas on how to live a healthy lifestyle as a family so that screen time doesn’t have long-lasting negative effects.
Pets are those adorable little souls that make this world a better place to live in. They provide us with comfort and good vibes with their charming presence.
There are many advantages to having a family pet. One of these benefits is that having a pet helps lower stress levels. As a matter of fact, a study conducted in 2002 by the State University of New York at Buffalo concluded that people with a pet near them experience lower levels of stress than when a family member is near.
Another benefit of having pets at home is that they improve the family’s immune system, especially in children. Immunotherapy as experts call it, means that pets usually expose children to many different living organisms that help strengthen their immune system compared to those children who do not have family pets growing up.
1) Choose A Pet That Is Not Harmful For Your Family’s Health
When choosing a pet, consider factors such as allergies. Not everyone can handle furry friends because it can sometimes be harmful to them if they get exposed to these for long hours. Also, if you have younger children and you have reasons to doubt if they can handle pets, consulting your family pediatrician first to get professional advice is a great idea.
If some of your family members have allergies, consider picking a fish for a family pet. If your family is set on a furry friend, check out Pride and Prejudoodles on Pinterest for pets who have been coat tested against shedding.
2) Choose A Pet According To Your Family’s Income Capacity
Choose a pet you can afford. This does not only mean that you have to choose a pet you can buy but also you need to take into account the cost of maintaining and keeping one. For one, a dog which is a larger breed will consume more food than a dog of a smaller breed. Check if your family income can afford pet food, pet vitamins and pet injections.
Moreover, you also need to consider veterinary costs. Some pets, like cats, require regular general check-ups. Vet costs can be pricey especially if you have a lot of pets that need check-ups. Consider this before taking on the responsibility of being a pet owner.
3) Choose A Pet According To Your Home’s Capacity
Another consideration would be your home’s capacity. Can the new family pet have adequate space in your home? Can an additional pet still be accommodated and afforded with a sufficient level of comfort?
If you live in a relatively big house, you may accommodate large breeds of dogs. However, if you live in a small apartment, consider a smaller pet like a fish, rabbit, hamster, or a laid-back cat.
4) Consider Getting To Know The Pet First Before Bringing It Home
Before you decide to bring your potential family pet at home, consider getting to know its quirks and hot buttons first. Not all breeds of cats or dogs have the same personalities. Is the new dog comfortable with children’s touch? Is the cat a scratcher?
Consider these things before exposing your family to the pet. Make sure that you choose a pet that is well-trained and well-behaved. You would not want your dog biting your child or your cat scratching you.
Kids are naturally curious and tend to get excited about sports, musical instruments, and all sorts of group activities that can lead you to a headache and a concern about funding it all. Here are my personal tips on saving money while allowing your child to explore their interests.
Being a first-time parent is a beautiful thing but it can also be quite daunting. And as soon as people know you are expecting, advice pours in like an avalanche of information.
In fact, I think that if every mom earned a diaper for every tidbit of information or recommendation they received during pregnancy, they’d have enough diapers to last 2 years.
The intentions of those giving advice are good, but it can be overwhelming. So how are first-time parents supposed to know what is essential for their own baby and their individual household?
Read on to learn 5 of the most important parenting tips for first-time parents.
1. Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps
Your baby is tiny and fragile and you want to make sure she’s safe even when she’s asleep. She is OK. Get some sleep.
She’s also the most beautiful creature you’ve ever seen, so you want to take that beauty in, even when she’s sleeping. Don’t. Get some sleep.
You think that while she sleeps you should be doing laundry or cleaning. Don’t. Get some sleep. Sleep deprivation can creep up on you quickly, and before you know it you’re emotionally and physically drained.
The very best thing you can do for you and your family as a first-time parent is getting as much sleep as you can.
2. Stock Your Pantry
First-time parents tend to worry about how to be a good parent, especially when it comes to a new baby.
One thing that is essential to keep an eye on when caring for a newborn is their temperature during a fever. Make sure you have an excellent thermometer so you aren’t waking up at 2 am wondering if you should be calling your doctor.
Stock up on Pedialyte, Infant’s Motrin, Infant’s Tylenol, nail clippers, Q-tips, a syringe aspirator, vaseline, coconut oil, and diaper rash cream. The last thing you want to do when you have a new baby is google a 24-hour pharmacy at 2 am.
Check out 5 quality baby items here that are worth the investment.
3. Figure out Your Car Seat
Babies can come early, sometimes even 6 weeks early. If there’s anything you should have ready beforehand, it’s the car seat.
Buy a car seat and install it properly. The hospital won’t let you leave without one, and they won’t let you leave if it isn’t properly installed. If you have any doubts about whether you’ve installed it correctly, find a tech or a police station near you who will check it out for free.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the thought of buying a carseat, check out our recommendations and how to find the right one for your child.
4. Get Your Diapers Delivered
Nothing is worse than changing a giant poop and realizing you’ve just thrown out the last diaper.
Get them delivered. It’s cheaper, it’s easier, and it’s one less thing you have to worry about.
Loco Direct has wholesale prices, speedy delivery, and plenty of samples.
5. Don’t Stress
Enjoy your time at home with your little one. Enjoy your partner. And relax.
Every worry or question that you have is a worry or question that a thousand other parents have had. Own your questions and ask them. Call your doctor rather than spending all day wondering.
Text a friend or a relative for parenting advice. You won’t bother them. They’ll be thrilled to help.
Let your partner take over and learn too. Even if you’re the type to want to control and do everything yourself, your life and your baby’s life will be better if someone else learns how to do those things too.
Sticking to a Few Simple Parenting Tips Will Make Life Easier
While it may be tempting to be the world’s best first-time parent, don’t try to do it all.
Stick to a short list of parenting tips and make those count. Everything else will fall into place as you learn something new each day.
And if you’d like to learn more, click here for all things baby.
Enjoy your time with your little one and your partner and have fun!
If you’re a mom-to-be, one of the most important baby purchases you can make is a car seat. Car seats have been shown to reduce the risk of death by over 70% when children age one and younger are involved in a car accident.
However, finding the right car seat isn’t so easy. There are so many models to choose from that it can be overwhelming, especially for first-time parents.
But we have a few tips to help make car seat shopping a little less stressful. Here are seven things to keep in mind for buying car seats that can help you narrow down your choices.
1. Match the Seat to Your Vehicle
That’s right; before you actually match the car seat to your child, you’ll want to make sure it will fit your vehicle. Just as it’s important to choose the right car for your family, you need to choose the right car seat for your vehicle.
Consult with your owner’s manual to learn how the car seat is tethered (either the LATCH system or a seat belt) and how much back seat space you have to work with.
Measure the base of the back seat and the distance to the back of the front seat to make sure the car seat you have in mind will fit.
The back seat is the safest place for your child in a collision and the location also keeps them protected from airbag injuries. You’ll want to make sure the car seat you want will fit there and that your vehicle enables LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) in the back.
Also, if you regularly transport other children you’ll need to consider if they have enough room back there riding with a car seat.
2. Buy a New Seat
It’s tempting to want to buy a used car seat or one that was never used and a few years old. But manufacturers are improving car seats constantly, so to ensure you have the most up-to-date safety features, go for a brand new seat.
You also don’t always know the history of a used car seat. It may have been involved in a crash, which means parts are missing or the overall safety may be compromised.
A car seat is a baby accessory that is worth spending the extra money on. Your seat should display the JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) stamp on the box. This confirms that the seat meets the latest safety standards.
3. Check For Ease of Use
Nothing is more frustrating than buying a new car seat and finding out it’s complicated to install.
Choose a car seat that’s been rated by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) for ease of use. Car seats with four or five stars have the clearest instructions on how to install it in your vehicle.
4. Consider a Convertible or All-In-One Car Seat
Technically there are four types of car seats depending upon the age and weight of your child. They are infant car seats, convertible car seats, 3-in-1 car seats, and booster seats.
Typically, most parents buy a rear-facing infant car seat and use it until their child turns two. Then they switch to a seat made for toddlers that faces front. Children later progress to an all-in-one car seat and eventually a booster seat until they’re old enough to wear a seat belt.
A convertible car seat offers the best of both worlds as your child grows. Once your child becomes a toddler, a convertible car seat can be turned around so it faces forward. This can save you time and money later on instead of having to buy a second car seat made for toddlers.
An all-in-one seat will extend the need for a car seat until your child no longer requires a booster seat. However, these seats can be cumbersome and don’t replace the convenience that lightweight infant car seats offer.
Infant car seats are smaller and easier to install and remove from your vehicle.
5. Choose a Seat With the Right Features
A top-of-the-line car seat isn’t worth all that much if it won’t protect your child in an accident.
At a minimum, your car seat’s should come equipped with a five-point harness and padding to help insulate your child’s head and neck in a collision. It should also be compatible with your vehicle’s LATCH system is that is how you prefer to secure it in your car.
An anti-rebound bar is another common feature being added to the latest car seats to help minimize movement during an accident. Look for these basic safety features when choosing the right car seat.
Convenience is also an important factor. Many manufacturers are offering car seats that rotate and swivel to make it easier to place your child in your vehicle and get them out.
Check out this guide for more information on 360 rotating and swivel car seats.
6. Consider Easy Care Fabric
Another car seat feature to consider is easy care fabric. Babies, toddlers, and kids can be messy, and certain materials clean up quicker than others.
If the ability to clean the seat is important, look for seats made of smooth fabric like nylon versus textured ones like corduroy which can trap food and beverages.
7. Consider Portability
Some parents are OK with leaving a car seat permanently installed in their vehicle until their child outgrows it. But sometimes it’s nice to have a car seat that can be easily removed and placed in another vehicle.
There are also car seats designed to be placed in strollers.
If this quality is important to you, you’ll want to look for a seat that is on the lighter and smaller side and built for versatility. Some car seats can weigh up to 20 or 30 pounds by themselves which certainly doesn’t make them convenient for toting around.
Buying Car Seats Doesn’t Have to be Confusing
Buying car seats doesn’t have to be confusing and stressful for parents.
By focusing on what’s most important to you, you can weed out the models that don’t fit your criteria and find the right car seat. Above all, the one you choose should be designed to protect your child in case of an accident.
Here at Kids Ain’t Cheap we love helping parents make the best purchasing decisions for them and their kids.
For more posts on choosing baby products, check out our baby stuff section.
We all know that the earlier we plan for retirement, the better off we will be when we get there. If you are a parent, you also know how difficult it can be when we consistently put our children first. Which is more important, the college fund or the retirement fund?
The teen years are no doubt difficult for many parents as your child starts to crave independence. I believe the teen years are when it’s time to really build on what you’ve taught your children about earning money, the value of money, and the importance of good financial habits. Accounts are available for children as soon as they turn 13; I decided to give my teen a debit card over a year ago.