I do have a subscription to Parents Magazine however I flip through it because I don’t need to read the whole thing, I like to read about where my child is now, where she might be soon and any recipes. So I decided to find some questions that I’ve often found moms asking lately…Thought maybe their advice would help. If you have any other questions please feel free to comment and we can discuss the answer or if their is a topic you’d like to talk about please feel free to message me and I’ll post some more questions!

How can I get my husband to play with our kids?

Do I really have to tell my husband to play with the kids instead of watching TV or playing on his phone? We’ve been married for 10 yrs now, and it’s always the same argument. Does this happen with other families? I need help, I get tired of the same story almost every night. And is not like I’m sitting doing nothing, most of the time I’m cleaning or cooking or doing laundry, please help.

“Parents Magazine”

This sounds like an issue that is played out in almost every house hold around the county. Women are now working outside the house and are still doing most of the work at home as well. It’s a stereotype for sure but men go to work then come home and create some sort of cave and appear to the rest of the household to live in a bubble. They retreat to their home office, TV, Ipad or blackberry.  It’s the same hibernating instinct now facilitated by technology. Let’s face it we are wired differently.

My suggestion is to stop arguing about it. This is not a way to get behavior to change and if you go over the same issues all the time without results your marriage will head in the wrong direction quickly. And most of the time, it’s better to stay together as a family and accept your partner’s limitations because the next one will most likely invest even less in your children.

That having been said, try other ways to get your man more involved. Try to find your husband’s strenghts. Many men are better with the children when it’s a family activity and you all go out together. Some men have to be left home with the children to really step up to the plate.  Perhaps you can support your husband to earn more money at work so you can delegate some of the tasks that he won’t share. Maybe you need to cut your work load back to have more time and energy to do all the home tasks. Are there short cuts you can take on food preparation? Are any of the children old enough to pitch in and help. Can they approach their Dad with fun activities such as sports or other things that interest him? 

Perhaps you need more time alone with your husband to re-spark your relationship and shift the focus from all the things he isn’t doing to all the things he does. If he feels happier in the relationship, he may be more motivated to please you. Don’t give up! Be creative in your solutions. Get advice from family or friends that know him. Try to create a new story for yourself and your family and remember that kids do grow and family needs will change. Many men are better parents when the kids are older.

Wishing the best to you and your family.

 

How can I prepare my first child for a new sibling?

I am pregnant my second child, but my toddler doesn’t seem to understand that another baby is on the way. How can I make the transition easier for her?
 “Parents Magazine”

It’s hard for kids under 2 to grasp the idea that there’s a baby growing in Mommy’s belly, at least until you’re really showing or you actually bring your newborn home from the hospital. But there are plenty of ways to get a kid this age psyched about being an older sibling, which will also help her adjust after the baby’s born:

• Have your toddler help you set up the nursery. She’ll probably love being Mommy’s little helper, and seeing all the new baby stuff around can help instill a sense of nurturing toward the baby on the way.
• Avoid making other major changes to your toddler’s routine. For example, don’t start potty training or moving her out of the crib — it’s too much all at once.
• Set up some bonding time with whoever will be caring for her — Grandma, a neighbor, her favorite babysitter — while you’re in the hospital.
• Make sure she has plenty of time to bond with Daddy as well, since he’ll likely be much more available to her in the initial weeks after the new baby comes home.
• Bring your toddler to places where she can be around young babies and get used to the fact that they cry, eat, and sleep a lot. Visit friends who have infants, for example, or point out small babies in the park or at the mall. Explain that the baby will take time to grow and won’t be born an instant playmate.
• Read books about becoming a big sister.
• If your child expresses concern over Mommy’s health or safety or asks questions like, “Will it hurt when the baby comes out?” reassure her that having a baby is one of the most natural things a woman does. (Although some children attend home births these days, most experts agree that a very young child should not see her mother in active labor.)
• Buy her a big-sister gift from the new baby and give it to her when he or she arrives home. On the same note, help her draw a picture as a present for the new baby and hang it up in the nursery.
• When the new baby comes home, give your toddler a realistic-looking doll to play with and care for so she can be just like Mommy.
• When friends and family come to see the new baby, remind them before they arrive to greet and congratulate your toddler first and be equally excited to visit with her.

What can I do to encourage my toddler to try new foods?

How do I get my 2 1/2 year old son to sit down and eat? He refuses to eat sitting down–he eats on the go. And he is a picky picky eater. If it’s not fish sticks, chicken nuggets, fries, cereal, Welch’s fruit snacks, pop tarts, crackers, chocolate milk, or coke, then he does not want it. Help!!!

 “Parents Magazine”

It’s perfectly age appropriate for your 2-1/2 year old to constantly be on the go, even when it’s time to eat! But at the same time, it sounds like many of the so-called “kid” foods he enjoys most are low in nutrients and high in calories, fat and sugar. Although having a healthful diet loaded with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein foods (like eggs, lean meats and poultry, and legumes [beans and peas]) and low fat dairy won’t make him sit through meals, they will provide him with the key nutrients he needs to grow and develop that perhaps he’s not getting enough of.

In order to encourage your child to consume more healthful foods and beverages, it’s important to have such options available at home to offer at meal and snack times. Try to stock up on a variety of foods in their lowest fat, lowest sugar form, including fruit (fresh berries, pineapple, banana apple, unsweetened applesauce and 100 percent fruit juice); vegetables (you can steam, lightly sauté or puree fresh vegetables to soften their texture or sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese or melt some shredded cheddar cheese on veggies to enhance their taste); whole grains such as whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, and whole grain/high fiber/low sugar cereal; lean protein foods such as canned light tuna, salmon, flank steak, or skinless chicken or turkey breast; beans and peas (and other legumes); and low fat dairy foods like nonfat milk and plain, unsweetened yogurt. You can buy these yourself or take your child to the grocery store to choose some foods himself.

Offer new foods one at a time, and with no pressure. Pair each new food with a familiar food (for example, offer steamed cut up broccoli sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese with fish sticks). Be patient, and be aware that it can take as many as 8 to 20 exposures before your child accepts and enjoys the new food.

If you make it a family rule to eat only in the kitchen or dining room, if you limit distractions such as television, and if you and other family members sit together and help make mealtimes more pleasant and peaceful (no fighting at the table!), your child will likely be motivated to try new things, enhance his nutrient intake, and truly enjoy your family time.

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