Family

Talks about Mommy Ginger’s moments with her husband, child and the other members of the family.

Gentle Parenting Tips You Need to Implement

Many of us who our parents today grew up with so called ‘iron fist’ parenting. As children of the 80s and the early 90s, we were brought up around parents who used the same disciplinary methods that their own parents used from the 70s and the 60s. Sometimes this means standing in the corner when you’re in trouble. Sometimes it meant getting spanked on the behind. Sometimes it meant writing lines. There wasn’t very much empathy in parenting in the 60s and 70s, not mainstream parenting, anyway. That’s why it seems like the phrase gentle parenting is a brand new phrase, but all it means is treating children with respect and treating them like human beings. 

Gentle parenting is exactly what it sounds like, a gentle way to raise children. Instead of seeing children like many adults or having the expectations for their emotions as you would for an adult, you treat them as their age, and you treat them gently. If more children were treated gently when they were small, perhaps the world wouldn’t be so hard. Communication and empathy start as young as possible, but many people mistake gentle parenting for permissive parenting and there is a very big difference. Gentle parenting means being gentle with children, it doesn’t mean giving them permission for negative behavior or behavior that is detrimental to their surroundings. 

For example, with permissive parenting you may not discipline or explain boundaries to children at all. They may have no boundaries whatsoever and may be allowed to do whatever they like, but with gentle parenting the boundaries are there is just the way that you enforce them is different. Instead of isolating your children or naughty steps, or spanking, you might consider the fact that children benefit better from natural consequences. Gentle parenting doesn’t just stop with toddlerhood, either. By the time children get to the concrete operational stage between the ages of seven and 11 years old, they should be able to understand the world around them a little bit more, but not enough to make cognitive decisions like an adult word. The brain doesn’t stop developing until the early 20s, so you have to consider the brain of a child who is 13, while they think that they know everything they really don’t. 

They are more impulsive with their actions, and that can look like pushing boundaries or being spoiled, but what it really means is that your 13 year old doesn’t have the capability to think as cognitively as you think. So, if you want to be a gentler parent and have a happier child, we’ve got some tips to help you to get started.

Photo by Anna Shvets: https://www.pexels.com/photo/crop-person-touch-palms-with-newborn-baby-on-gray-backdrop-3845458/
  • Put empathy at the front of everything that you do. It’s the most important part of gentle parenting, and it has to be a part of everything that you do for your family. Children are not robots and they are not there to be programmed to follow your orders. Yes, it’s nice when children do as they are told because you are a grown up and you have been conditioned to think that children have to listen absolutely to everything adults do. The reason you think this way is because you were taught this as a child. you were taught to respect adults by default rather than taught that adults need to earn as much respect as children do. Put yourself in your Child’s shoes. Did you learn from being yelled out or did you just learn to lie better? Did you learn from being spanked or put in the corner and isolated alone? Probably not. Many of us now have abandonment issues and anxiety and much of it stems from how we raised our children. But it’s not our parents fault. Until they know better they can’t do better, but we can.

  • Set reasonable boundaries. You can’t expect a four year old to follow the same boundaries or rules as a 10 year old, so you need to be reasonable in your expectations. You might want your 2 year old to sit quietly in a restaurant, but two year olds are never quiet. It’s nice if children share nicely with their friends, but is sharing a rule that should be followed or sharing something they should want to do? Instead of disciplining children for not sharing, you should encourage them to share but explain to your children that they don’t have to if they don’t want to. Would you share your phone with a complete stranger who comes and asks you for it? Absolutely not! So why do we expect children to share their toys with other children that they don’t know? Consider their development and go with that. Boundaries for a 2 year old in a restaurant may be that they are able to have a tablet or some coloring in. Boundaries for a 10 year old in a restaurant work very differently because they do understand that sitting down nicely while out is a good thing.

  • Make your boundaries reasonable. While we are on the topic of setting boundaries, your boundaries have to be reasonable ones. For example, responding to your children because I said so, it doesn’t help. Iit’s arbitrary and it doesn’t help your children to learn anything. If your children want chocolate for breakfast, and you know it’s not great for them, explain it. Make it so that your children understand the answer to the question rather than just saying because you said so. Kids will respect you much more when you put boundaries in place that they can understand. Saying ‘because I said so’ is a power play; and you don’t need to have a power play with a child who doesn’t get it.

  • Be okay with saying ‘yes’. You do not have to say no to everything – and yet we are programmed to! The children want to play with glitter, but we say no because of the cleanup. We could be saying yes and having as much sparkly fun. Is a five minute vacuum job really a hardship? Of course it isn’t but when you’re raised to be made to feel that way it’s easy to project that onto your children. Your children want junk food at 8am, but it’s a Saturday so is it really a bad idea? You could easily reduce your child’s junk food intake for the rest of the day. If you would say yes more often on vacation, then why not in everyday life?
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/cheerful-mother-and-daughter-having-fun-on-bed-at-home-3756036/
  • Raise the words you use, not your voice. Shouting doesn’t help the kids, and it doesn’t help them to learn, but it does often help you to get out your frustration, which is nice, but it isn’t great in the actual situation, does it? Unless your goal is to terrify your kids it really doesn’t help. Instead of wasting your energy shouting, why not think about the fact that you could speak calmly, because if you were yelled at you probably wouldn’t listen either. Children don’t listen to yelling. In fact they just become afraid of it and the last thing you need is your children to become afraid of you.

  • Treat your children the way that you expect them to treat other people. Children will model your behavior, so if you are treating them kindly and with respect, they will treat other people kindly and with respect. Also, you should remember that respect is and. You can expect your children to show you the respect that you are expecting, but only if you are giving it to them in return. As we said, modeling that behavior is so important. If you want them to genuinely feel kind and respect towards you, you have to show that you are worthy of it. Treating your children well should be the default rather than something that you do because somebody else told you to.

  • Don’t drag out discipline. With gentle parenting, discipline looks a little bit different. You’re not children or isolating them, and you’re not grounding them for weeks on end and you’re not taking away all of their toys. Instead, you correct the behavior in the moment. If a child has thrown a toy and the toy is broken, then they have to relearn that you are not going to replace it. If they have hurt a friend, then their natural consequences are to apologize for their behavior and may commence. You don’t discipline your child by waiting until they have got to the weekend and then deciding on a punishment for them. Children don’t think like that and while you may hold a grudge, all you are doing is proving that you hold one. But what adult holds a grudge against a child? Certainly not a decent parent.

It takes time to switch from an authoritarian parenting style to a gentle one, but it can be done. All you have to do is remind yourself that children are people too, and if you wouldn’t treat an adult the way you would treat a child, then something is going wrong. Helping your child to learn from their mistakes and become a well rounded individual is your decision and your responsibility. Make sure that you are unleashing a happy and emotionally secure individual on the world.

One Word for 2023

It’s that time of the year when I think of my word for the year — the one word to rule them all (well, at least how I live my life for 2023). After thinking about it for a few days last December, I finally chose my word. The word that I chose was DETERMINED.

I am determined.

I am determined to reach my financial goals this year. Last year, we started the year with the entire family having COVID. This really derailed me from the financial plans that we had. It was quite a rocky start to the year, but that didn’t stop me. Although I was 30% short of my financial targets, it’s fine. I still got to at least save and invest last year.

I am determined to help Zeeka enjoy learning via homeschooling. Last year, we also decided that we’ll definitely homeschool Zeeka for 4th grade. We finished two quarters already, and so far, it has been fun. Daddy EJ teaches Math, Science, CF, Digital Literacy and I teach Language, Reading, Filipino, Social Studies and Art. We’ve all been enjoying it!

I am determined to help our employees become more skilled and fulfilled. This year, I think my theme for work is to help the members of our team grow — in skills, knowledge, confidence, experience, maturity, etc. I’ve been reading this book No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention and it has made me realize that you have to trust your people fully, so that they can shine.

I am determined to be a loving wife. We’ve been married for 13 years, and a lot of things have changed. With 2 kids now, we hardly have time for ourselves. But, this year, I am looking forward to more alone time with the hubby — more date nights!

So that’s it…

If you want to read my past articles on One Word, here you go:

One Word for 2022

One Word for 2021

One Word for 2020

One Word for 2019

One Word for 2018

One Word for 2017

One Word for 2016

One Word for 2015

One Word for 2014 (didn’t get to choose one)

One Word for 2013

What’s your one word for 2023? I’d love to read about it, too!

Online Privacy and What It Means for Your Family

Online privacy has become a hot topic as of late. With more and more of us using internet-connected devices on a daily basis, it’s fairly normal to have concerns about our privacy. This is especially true as social media becomes a more integral part of our lives as each day passes. As such, we generate loads of data on the internet, and a lot of this can be used against us if we’re not careful. This is why online privacy is so important.

But what does online privacy mean for families? What if you’re not tech-savvy or you don’t really know much about using the internet. Whether you’re just getting started with the internet or would like to know more about safely using the internet, privacy is a topic that you should understand thoroughly. Here’s what you need to know. 

Photo by Dan Nelson on Unsplash

What online privacy means

Online privacy essentially refers to how much of your information remains private whenever you go on the internet. For instance, if you sign up to lots of different websites using your email, then you’re potentially giving out your email address to dozens of different businesses or people. This might not sound like much of a big deal, but what if their data is compromised? Suddenly, your email could be seen by virtually anyone and you could get lots of spam emails.

Similarly, online privacy can relate to social media. Remaining private basically means that you’re not sharing too much information. However, with all of the photographs we take, the information we might share, and also the connections we have, it’s possible for someone to use someone’s public profile as a means to find where they live. This kind of public information can make it easy to stalk you and your family members.

Is online privacy really that important?

Absolutely! Sharing too much information can encourage stalkers. This is especially important to deal with if you have children. Kids tend to overshare and they might talk a lot about their family or home. If they do this a lot, then it’s only a matter of time before some of your information is leaked out. While it’s easy to overlook something like this, it’s never too late to start practicing some habits that could lead to safer online browsing. 

Small habits like using the best private search engine or installing some kind of software that scans links can really help your situation here. Showing that you care about privacy and that it’s a top priority will help your family pay a little more attention to what they’re doing on the internet.

The basics of staying safe on the internet

So how exactly do you stay safe on the internet? What are some things you can do in order to make the internet a bit safer for your whole family? There are a number of simple ways to start protecting your kids online, but here are some of the most common methods.

  • Pay a little more attention to how they use the internet. Are they speaking to anyone that you don’t know? Are they visiting places where they could encounter strangers?
  • Have you enabled parental controls to disable access to certain websites and features?
  • Does your child know about basic internet safety? This can include not clicking on strange links and making sure websites are real and safe before clicking on a link.
  • Use something like a virtual private network to shield your activity on the internet.

While it can be fairly difficult to stay safe when browsing the internet, the use of a VPN and basic internet knowledge can be a good way to combat most threats. In addition, you may want to install some kind of antivirus software or even a spyware scanner. In the event that you do click on a bad link, you’ll get a warning and the software may even clean up the problem before it gets out of hand.

Is the internet dangerous for children?

The internet is not a dangerous place for children. In fact, it’s no safer or more dangerous than anything else they can do. The danger comes from people, not the internet itself. As such, the best way to avoid any kind of danger is to be more careful about what you share. Oversharing is never a good idea, but it’s something that children might do because they’re curious and they don’t realize there are bad people out there.

6 Tips to Make Caring for Elderly Family Members at Home Easier

Taking care of elderly loved ones can be quite a challenge. They may not be able to move around unassisted, or their vision may not be as good as it used to be. A chronic condition or an illness like dementia may also complicate matters even further.

To make things a little easier for you (or whoever is the assigned caregiver), here are some tips for caring for the elderly at home:

Buy Medicines Online

Most of the time, the elderly experience health issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Recurring aches and pains are also common due to the weakening of the bones. Fortunately, many of these conditions can be maintained with the help of medication. The problem is that you may not always have the time to step out and make a purchase, particularly if your elderly relative requires constant supervision.

This is where technology can be extremely helpful. Specifically, you can now buy medicines online. Just make sure that you go to an online drugstore Philippines’s consumers trust so you can be assured of quality and effectiveness. Another benefit of buying medicines online is that it’s easier to keep your first aid kit well-stocked. This is particularly important in case of emergencies (e.g., typhoons and other natural disasters).

Ensure Ample Lighting

Our eyesight naturally deteriorates over time, which is why most elderly people experience vision problems. To help them navigate your home safely and easily, it’s a good idea to have ample lighting in every area. You should also take note of accident-prone areas and dim spots that could use the extra illumination. These include stairways, corners, and corridors. If you have a pantry, make sure it’s well-lit too.

There should also be a lamp that’s easy to switch on beside your loved one’s bed. Installing night lights to make going to the bathroom in the dark easier would also be helpful. If you can, get motion sensors or touch-sensitive switches.

Manage Tripping Hazards

The elderly are prone to tripping because their sense of balance may be affected by nerve diseases, poor circulation, or conditions like Parkinson’s or arthritis. To make things safer, it’s best to have flat, even flooring like tile or wood as much as possible. If you have carpeting, wall-to-wall is better because it’s less likely to get rumpled or loose. Always check the seams so that they’re always lying flat. Avoid area rugs completely because feet and walking aids can get caught on the edges.

If you have pets like cats and dogs in the house, it would be better to confine them in certain areas. While pets can be pleasant company, there may be times when they can get too affectionate or playful and cause the elderly to get off-balance. For a quick solution, install gates or similar barricades that won’t be easily knocked over.

Finally, try to fix uneven floors. If they can’t be completely eliminated—for example, bathroom floors are usually set lower than the rest of the house—try smoothing them over with a ramp.

Install Grab Bars in the Bathroom and Hallways

Speaking of bathrooms, they’re notorious areas for slips and falls due to their floors being almost always wet. For added safety, install grab bars in the shower area and beside the bathtub. You should also have grab bars along hallways, as well as in other areas that are prone to similar accidents like the kitchen.

In relation, anti-skid coatings may also be helpful in preventing nasty falls and slips. Rubber mats may be a more affordable solution; that said, their edges (like those of area rugs) may curl up or otherwise cause uneven surfaces.

Rearrange Furniture

If your elderly loved one has mobility issues, consider rearranging the furniture at home so they can access what they need with ease. For the best results, consult them regarding the layout so you know exactly where to place which piece of furniture. You should also place frequently used items like TV remotes, eyeglasses, and the like on low and stable surfaces.

Install a Ramp

Last but certainly not least, if your elderly loved one needs a wheelchair to move around, ramps would be valuable additions to your home. These would make navigation easier, as well as minimize accidents like falls and bumps. Some of the best places to install ramps are the entrance to your home, as well as the doors leading to the bathroom.

When you make your home a safe and accessible place for the elderly, you’re not only making things easier for yourself as the caretaker. Rather, you’re also giving your aging loved ones a sense of independence and agency. This can be a good thing for their mental state and overall health.

What’s great about these tips is that many of them are easy to do on your own. They also don’t cost a lot of money, which means you can implement them as soon as possible! 

Handling a Child’s Fever: Top 5 Tips

According to most contemporary healthcare practitioners, a person has a fever if they have a body temperature of 37.8°C or higher (taken with a mouth thermometer). An elevated body temperature can be worrisome or even downright scary when it happens to your child, particularly if they’re very young.

However, do note that it’s normal for kids to get a fever every so often. Usually, it’s because they have a minor infection like a cold. What’s more, fever is not an illness; rather, it’s a symptom that indicates an illness and that the body is fighting off the cause of that ailment.

Causes of a fever can include viral diseases, heat exhaustion, and even receiving certain medicines or vaccines. Your child may also experience a fever if they’ve recently undergone a medical procedure (e.g., blood transfusion), or is suffering an autoimmune condition.

If your child has a fever, you can try these home remedies to help bring down their body temperature. Just remember that it may take some time for the fever to be completely gone, so be patient.

Give Fever Reducers

If your child is old enough (make sure to ask your pediatrician), you can give them fever-reducing medicines like acetaminophen or paracetamol. It doesn’t matter if it’s a branded one or a generic medicine Philippines-based companies produce and sell in trusted drugstores. As long as the right active ingredients are present, it will provide some fever relief.

Of course, make sure that your child isn’t allergic to any of the components. You should also check the label so you can give the correct dosage at the right intervals. Most importantly, don’t give aspirin to infants or toddlers. When in doubt, consult your doctor.

Dress Your Child in Light Clothes

One of the most persistent old wives’ tales in the Philippines regarding fevers is that you have to sweat them out. Thus, a lot of mothers dress their feverish kids in warm clothing or bundle them up in extra thick blankets. Depending on when you were born, you’ve probably experienced this (or even done it to your own child).

However, this practice actually causes a further increase in body temperature and even results in discomfort. The better thing to do is to dress your child in comfortable, breathable clothing so that they can feel cooler as they recover from their illness. This doesn’t mean that you should crank up the setting of the electric fan or air conditioner to maximum, though. Rather, simply ensure that your child feels at ease and isn’t getting overheated.

Try a Lukewarm Bath

If dressing your child in light clothing doesn’t do much, try giving them a lukewarm bath or sponge bath. Using alcohol isn’t recommended, since it dries quickly and can result in shivers; in turn, this can cause a further increase in body temperature. A quick bath or shower will do.

In case you have a bathtub, don’t leave your child unattended even for a few seconds. Get them out of the tub after a couple of minutes and make sure they’re completely dry before dressing them up in cool, comfortable clothes.

Hydrate

Sometimes, your child might lose their appetite or find it difficult to eat or to swallow their food when they have a fever. This can cause a lot of problems, especially since the body needs to stay hydrated to regulate body temperature.

If your feverish child isn’t in the mood or thinks that plain water is boring, try giving them fruit-infused water instead. You can also try fruit juices or even popsicles. When it comes to food, soups are a great source of fluids and electrolytes. Meanwhile, small treats like flavored gelatin can also help a bit with hydration and whetting their appetite.

Let Them Rest

Finally, your child needs a lot of rest to let their body recover from their illness and fever. Minimize their screen time and let them sleep as much as possible. If it’s time to drink fever medicine but your child is still asleep, don’t wake them up. Unless you have to adhere to a strict schedule, just give the medicine once your child wakes up and then adjust the timetable as needed.

Final Words

A fever can certainly be nerve-racking but it’s not always something serious. If your child is still active, alert, as well as able to eat and drink (and keep it down), then they’re probably only dealing with a minor infection. 

However, if your child is unnaturally pale or flushed, be on the alert. Take note of their body temperature, and if it reaches 40°C or higher, go to the hospital right away. A high fever in children, particularly infants, is a serious matter and often caused by severe infections.

You should also get immediate medical attention if your child’s fever goes on for days. If your child is younger than 2 years, a fever that lasts for more than a day is a cause of concern. If your child is 2 years of age or older, go to your doctor if the fever persists for more than 3 days.