Helping your child’s brain cell development
According to data from a professional Aqua Fitness Association, water resistance is about 12 – 15 times that of on-land resistance. On-land exercise is more straining for pregnant ladies because of gravity, and you will also be more prone to joint injuries. Unlike exercising on land, water aerobics gives you similar exercise intensity as dumbbells or other exercise aids, thanks to water resistance. It enhances the muscular strength of various body parts without straining your joints. Besides, when your chest is underwater, heart capacity can increase 27 – 30% compared to on-land. Heart contraction becomes stronger, increasing your lung capacity and blood oxygen level. Experts believe this is a good type of exercise during pregnancy because it helps to activate foetal brain cell development, and at the same time prevents injuries among pregnant mums.
Let’s have a look at this popular trend among expectant mums abroad
A professional water aerobics instructor has expressed that this exercise has been popular among pregnant mums overseas for many years for a few reasons. With water buoyancy, even mums in the later stages of pregnancy can engage in water aerobics, including some light jumping movements, without much strain. At the same time, water aerobics effectively trains their thighs, arms and various other muscles because of water resistance. Finally, this form of exercise also protects your bones.
Benefits of exercise during pregnancy
1. Effectively relieves pregnancy discomfort:
Water aerobics trains and strengthens your abdomen, back, chest, hip, and leg muscles, helping pregnant mums to maintain weight and cardiovascular functioning, to relieve backaches, while preventing problems like varicose veins and oedema.
2. You don’t have to know how to swim:
Water aerobics does not involve your head going underwater, so mums who can’t swim can still take part!
3. No sweaty discomfort:
For those who dislike heavy sweating after exercise, this in-water exercise sets you free from sweaty discomfort.
4. Simple moves that are easy to learn:
The steps of water aerobics for pregnant women are easy to learn, including front-to-back and left-to-right pushing and pulling of the arms; marking time, light jumping, raising legs, kicking, frog kicks, and so on. Women in the later stages of pregnancy can also practice these steps.
Have family members accompany you because safety is always your top priority
The water aerobics instructor has also advised that expectant mothers can carry out water aerobics under doctors’ advice, after their pregnancy has become stable. As long as there is no water break, bleeding, or lower abdominal pain, mums in the final stage of pregnancy can continue to practice this exercise. While the steps of water aerobics are very simple, you are still strongly advised to carry out the exercise under the supervision of professional instructors, medical personnel, or family members. Remember that safety is always your top priority, and try to go to pools that are dedicated to pregnant ladies. If you choose to go to public pools, keep a distance from crowds and wear anti-slip footwear at all times to avoid slipping.
Take part in water aerobics classes designed for expectant mums
Water aerobics classes for expectant mums are carried out in pools with a water temperature of about 29 – 30°C, which is the most suitable temperature. Lower water temperature can easily trigger uterine contraction, causing frequent urges to urine. Worse still, frequent trips between the pool and the toilet inevitably put you in a greater risk for slipping. Besides, you might easily catch a cold due to the change in temperature between the water and the pool area.
As a mum of two girls, I find it a daunting task to equip them with the right tools to succeed in this kind of reality. I don’t know what the future holds for them. At the very least, I’d want them to be strong and confident enough to navigate through it. Here’s a list of principles that I’ve picked up along my journey of mum-hood:
Empower Her. Start by giving simple choices: the white dress or the red one? Shampoo before soap? Which slide will you go down first, the blue one or the pink one? Teach her to make her own decisions. Show support for these decisions and follow-through. Let it be okay if her choice is different from the norm, or from that of her peers. It will show her the importance of individuality.
Encourage Her to Speak Her Mind (respectfully of course). Allow her to do things independently. Help her stand up for herself, especially if someone hurts her. Give her the right words to use, instead of simply crying about it in frustration: “I didn’t like it when you grabbed the ball from me.” It will help her learn to deal with conflict particularly when you aren’t around.
Give Her the Competence to Develop New Skills. Before jumping in to help, give her some space to figure it out. Offer helpful suggestions but refrain from taking over. This teaches her to think for herself and encourages independence instead of waiting for someone to come to her rescue.
Let Her Succeed. Start with tasks that can be accomplished easily. This makes her feel she is good at something. Slowly add on one challenge at a time, and let her master it before introducing something more challenging. Watch out, because if you give her tasks that are over her head, it is a potential a set-up for failure, and it will hurt the confidence you’ve already built. It’s better to take it slow than to rush into things. Go at your daughter’s pace, and not the pace of the norm.
Be Specific and Generous with Praise. Notice the positive traits and achievements your little girl makes and call attention to them. Be specific, such as “The twirl that you did in ballet yesterday was spectacular!” Or, “I noticed you shared your toys and took turns being first. That was very nice of you.” There is nothing more uplifting that a mum who recognizes the small milestones that no one else does.
Correct Her Mistakes with Love and Always Do It In Private. There’s no need to belittle them in front of peers, their siblings or other people. This does not do anything for their self-esteem. Life Coach Pia Nazareno suggests getting down to your daughter’s level and making eye contact when disciplining with love. Find the right teaching moment when emotions are in check. Take your daughter aside so it is a conversation between the two of you and no one else. Focus on the task and not the person. Give her concrete alternatives that she can use so that she does it better the next time around.
Avoid Comparing Her to Peers and Siblings. Girls will naturally do this to themselves. There is no need for mums to validate this subconscious exercise, as it only makes her feel insufficient about herself and her talents.
Support Her All The Way. Stand behind her choices. If she’d rather learn basketball instead of gymnastics, then help her learn as much of it as she can. Take a genuine interest and back her decisions. Be genuinely excited for her.
Be Her Role Model For Confident Behavior. Show her by your own example how to be confident and how to believe in herself. After all, little girls look up to their mums. Who better to do this for them than you?
Keep The Lines Of Communication Open. Little girls should be able to speak to their mums about anything under the sun. Keep an open mind and an open heart. Listen to what she has to say – even if it’s something that you probably don’t want to hear.
Cement The Trust In Your Relationship With Her. Be honest, tell the truth and don’t shield your daughter from what may come. Admit to mistakes and make only promises you can keep. The trust she has in you is sacred, and it should hold firm throughout her life. Trusting in mum builds the foundation for trusting in others. And when all else fails, she’ll know it will be okay because she has mum to turn to.
Show Her She is Loved Unconditionally. The most important aspect of raising a confident girl is that she knows she is loved – no matter what. Only a mum’s love for her daughter can have no boundaries and an infinite source of time, energy and compassion. If she knows you love her, then she will take all you’ve taught her to heart and she will be able to share that with the rest of the world too.
What about you; I’d love to hear your thoughts. What are your tips on how to raise confident girls?
About the Blogger:
Jenny Reyes is the mom behind the blog My Mommyology, her personal take on the science of motherhood. She became a mom in North Carolina where she raised her two beautiful girls. She has since then been swept into the continuous process of learning and experimenting through to see what parenting style works best for their family.
Jenny is also one of the co-founders of Your Brand Story, a marketing consultancy firm. She enjoys reading, traveling and scuba-diving.]]>
Here are a few suggestions (some of which are budget-friendly) for mums to consider that will engage their children’s minds and bodies:
Earn their keep at home. Summer is often the best time to allow kids help out around the house. Teaching them chores builds responsibility. It can also minimize TV or video time. When money is involved, it adds a layer to building their emotional quotient. Pay your kids for the chores they accomplish. It can be as simple as making their beds, setting the table or helping out with grocery shopping; and at the end of the summer, they can each pick a toy or game that they’ve wanted as a reward. Earning and saving can help teach them addition and subtraction as well. Clean home, lessons learned: It is a win-win situation all around.
Break out the arts and crafts. There’s nothing better in building a child’s creativity and imagination than art projects. From markers and paints to colorful sticks, playdough and plain scratch paper, sky’s the limit as to what kids can create. As mum, you can opt to start them off with “white space” – anything goes. See where it takes them. Or, you can put a theme to each activity. Common examples are a trip to the farm, an adventure to fantasyland, or even something as simple as a trip into the city. What they come up with may surprise you.
Enroll them in a summer program. Teach them to play an instrument. Music is another great avenue for mind and body development. Learning how to play an instrument takes discipline, practice and perseverance. It is also very enriching, and is a talent your child can carry through for the rest of his or her life. Other programs explore various sides of the arts: dance, cooking, and yoga are a few. Some camps combine all these aspects so children get a variety over a 2-week time frame. Your child can try out more than one camp depending on his or her preference and your budget.
Let them be a part of a team. An informal team like a group of kids at the playground or a structured formal sports camp for team sports like soccer and basketball will do. Being part of a team builds social skills, confidence and most importantly, teamwork. There are other sports where teams are not as obvious, such as gymnastics, taekwondo or swimming, and those are good too. They build discipline as much as endurance, and develop one’s focus and strength.
Allow them to break free. Sometimes the best activities are the ones without any kind of structure in them whatsoever. Find a park or a playground one afternoon and bring the balls, the bikes, and yes, even the bubbles. Pack a blanket and a few snacks and have a good old-fashioned picnic!
Talk to your kids and see what interests them. If they are involved in the process, chances are that they will be more committed to completing the activities. At the end of the day, no matter what you all decide, the most important part of it all is spending quality time with your children. After all, no other person will enrich their minds, their bodies and their hearts, as much as their own mother can.
About the Blogger:
Jenny Reyes is the mom behind the blog My Mommyology, her personal take on the science of motherhood. She became a mom in North Carolina where she raised her two beautiful girls. She has since then been swept into the continuous process of learning and experimenting through to see what parenting style works best for their family. Jenny is also one of the co-founders of Your Brand Story, a marketing consultancy firm. She enjoys reading, traveling and scuba-diving.]]>
Now in this modern day and age, I’d like to believe that spanking and physical punishment is no longer necessary when raising a child. So my question is, have you ever spanked you child? As for me, sadly yes. You see I get short tempered easily whenever I’m sick and whenever I lack sleep or hungry (these make me very grumpy). I know I said over and over again to my husband that I will not use physical punishment for our kids and we both agreed on it but on trying times, we see ourselves spanking Gabbie’s hands whenever she did something wrong that would’ve put her in danger.
Before you give me the evil eye, ask yourself the same question. What triggers you from shouting and spanking your kids? When they’re being a kid? Which means making a mess, playing where it is not allowed, touching things that can harm them, consciously mocking you and not following you just because.
Yes, all of the above for me. You see, Gabbie is a smart kid (like most kids) they understand situations and simple ideas that they’re exposed to over time. So when she tends to disobey me or does the opposite of what I tell her to do, that’s when I start to boil. The only reason is we both know that she’s just mocking me or just because she wants to and she knows that she can. Of course she knows what I want her to do yet she does the opposite of it. Forcing me to change my mood and temper, my voice more commanding and my action to lead me to pa-pa (spank) her palm.
As for spoiling, first borns are always the ones who experience it and spoilers are mostly (first-time) grandparents. Between me and my husband, I think he’s the spoiler and I’m more of the disciplinarian. Maybe that is the case because I am left alone with her at home. I think spoiling is necessary to teach kids that there’s another side to discipline. I was never a spoiled girl as I am the youngest of three girls while my husband is the firstborn whom I believe was spoiled heehee. So I guess it helps that we’re quite a contrast when it comes to kind of parenting. Now that Gabbie’s a little older, I find myself enjoying spoiling her. Well not naman spoiling, more on enjoying buying her things that I know she’ll love and will enjoy at the moment. I figured when she turns 3, 4 or 5 years old she’ll be into other things and wouldn’t want to be treated as a “baby” anymore. As for my baby boy, well I can’t wait to spoil him as well, heehee. For now, I only can afford spoiling Gabbie with food such as ice cream, chocolates, donuts and play time at Gymboree. I leave the expensive spoiling to her Ahma (grandma).
Being a progressive parent means being open and having a good communication between you and your kids. As I’ve mentioned on my previous posts about progressive parenting here, here and here, it all starts with the attitude and energy the parents exude in order to to make the home a happy place.
I’ve learned that there are ways to avoid spanking and scolding as forms of discipline. Here are some tips that I find useful:
- Breathe. If your kid annoys you and you’re quite ready to blow remember to breathe. Deep breaths even for a mere five seconds helps you to stay calm despite hearing your kid mock you, cry or even scream.
-Trade places. If you were your kid would you want to be scolded and spanked? Imagine what it would be like or even go back to your childhood days and think what you’ve felt when you were scolded and spanked. That is enough reason to try to talk to your kid in a calm manner.
- Be a kid for a day. Yes, to better understand a kid you have to be a kid once more. Be carefree with your kids even for a day in a week or two or even for a few hours. You’ll see yourself enjoying “carefree time” and soon understand why your kids behave that way.
I have learned that if your husband is the spoiler of the family try not to be one yourself. You know it’ll help immensely if there’s a good cop and a bad cop BUT take note that these roles need not to be stagnant. If the hubby is the good cop in the present situation, talk to him and tell him that next time a similar situation occurs that you should switch places and he’d be the bad cop. That way there’s balance between both parents and that kids would learn that both parents can discipline and spoil at the same time. This would avoid favoring one parent to the other. If you find it hard not to spoil your kid then I suggest do a reward system. Allot chores or even little things that would involve making an effort on your child’s part. If you have a toddler like I do here are some things I ask her to do so that I can reward her for a job well done.
- Picking after herself. After our playtime or her playtime with our helper, I ask her to clean up her toys then she gets to do or eat what she wants.
- Potty training. Gabbie has been telling us whenever she needs to use the restroom but sometimes she’s still lazy to undress on her own. Asking her to remove her pants and underwear by herself can be a task so I counter offer her always with TV time or something she wants to do.
-Choosing a snack. This is reward itself. Most of the time Gabbie would go to the kitchen and ask our helper to open the pantry so she can choose a snack. In most cases she gets to choose a snack because she’s been obedient in limiting TV/iPad time.
-Offer a dessert. Whenever we’re out she’s excited to eat out (although she’s matakaw to begin with) because she loves eating. Still, as a reward for finishing her food, we’d ask her to pick a dessert of her choice.
- Blame the”just because” moments. If there’s nothing else you can do but spoil your kid then I guess you can do away with blaming family occasions. The “just because” moments will often time creep on mums like us especially when we want to splurge and shop for our darling little ones. So what better excuse there is than an occasion? Buying clothes just because they’re on sale and buying a toy because your kid is having fun playing with it are just some of the “spur of the moment” we mums often face. Whatever your excuse and reason is, make sure that your kid knows that she’s being reward. Just because she’s a good girl, she’s very sweet, she lasted an hour behaved at church, she used her indoor voice while her baby brother is sleeping, she helped mommy open the door and other simple things. Rewarding your kids on a “just because” basis from time to time is a form of acknowledgement which can empower them to excel more and strive for the best. It is also way better than spoiling your kids for no reason, so find your “just because” reasons to let your kids know their little acts of goodness are rewarded.
I hope these tips help in balancing discipline and reward in your family.
What’s your take on spanking and spoiling?
ABOUT THE BLOGGER
Jackie Go, a work in progress homemaker pens the blog GoJackieGo.com. Her comical nature, charm, energy, and distinct beauty give homemaking a twist.]]>
Before I got married, I’ve read so many books saying couples tend to forget each other once the children are born. The focus would normally shift from the spouse to the children and the schedule would usually revolve around them. With that, Dens and I promised to have a date night every Friday to also make sure we have time for ourselves.
Last Saturday, i learned something new from our New Beginnings talk. You will also need to schedule date nights with each of your child. Just like your spouse, you’re together most of the time at home but the bonding is also different when you go out on dates and experience new things together.
Then I remembered seeing some parent-child date pictures on Facebook from my good friends Jackson and Ann Janette Dy. Their date nights are particularly special because they have 7 kids! Imagine that! Joshua (11), Jericho (10), Ariana(9), Jacob (7), Jonah (6), Andrea (16 months), Angela (1 month). I truly admire how they have raised very behaved and well-mannered kids. Ann stays home to take care of the kids and tutor all of them. You would think their home would be chaotic but it’s amazingly not. Both of them have done a wonderful job raising confident and happy kids.
I decided to interview them and get some tips on how they manage to let each child feel unique and loved.
Get a dad’s perspective on dating with your kids. Click http://densandfan.blogspot.com to read the full interview.
About the Blogger:
Tiffany Lim-Baura, an Account Management Head of a corporate governance business, pens the blog DensandFan.blogspot.com. This smart woman who has the look of a lovely Koreanovela character is first and foremost a Mum.]]>
Have you ever wondered why some of your relatives have diabetes, obesity and asthma while you don’t?
This new field of science called Epigenetics tells us that we are not doomed to inherit all the faulty genes of our ancestors. We have the ability to “turn on” or “turn off” some features in our DNA.
Epigenetics comes from the words “epi-“ meaning “above or outside” and genetics. This new theory is saying that our environment and our life choices can influence or change the outside manifestation of our genetic code… and also of our children.
How does it work?
How can we activate or deactivate a gene that we don’t want such as alzheimer, schizophrenia or cancer?
Allow me to be technical for a few moments and please don’t zone out. This information might prove to be interesting to you.
At the Duke University in North Carolina, cancer specialists Dr. Randy Jirtle and Dr. Robert Waterland conducted an experiment on mice with a unique gene called the Agouti gene.
The Agouti gene gives mice their yellow coats and a tendency to become obese with diabetes. This was observed consistently in all the mice with this specific gene.
Dr. Jirtle fed one group of pregnant agouti mice a diet rich in B vitamins specifically folic acid and vitamin B12. Another group of genetically identical pregnant agouti mice received no prenatal supplementation.
The results showed the pregnant mice that were given prenatal supplements gave birth to offspring with brown fur, normal weight and no diabetes.
The B vitamins acted as the “key” to “turn off” the agouti gene while the baby mice were still in the uterus.
Without altering the genetic structure of DNA, simply by furnishing B vitamins Drs. Jirtle and Waterland manipulated agouti mothers to produce healthy brown pups that were of normal weight and not prone to diabetes and obesity.
This is a landmark discovery and further supports our knowledge that the nine months of pregnancy is a critical stage of development. This is the golden period. The time of great opportunity to mold our children into the best that they can be with the help of supplementation.
This post is a first in a series of posts on raising your child depending on their birth order, as guided by One Core’s CEO and Life Coach Pia Nazareno-Acevedo in the New Beginnings forum held last June 25.
Let’s start with the first borns.
Because having a baby for the first time is a totally new experience for all parents, the first born gets a lot of attention (up to the time the next one is born). Most new mums are most anxious with their first borns because they want things to be perfect. Often, there are high expectations for the first child. They are put under a magnifying glass and most likely grow up faster than their younger siblings.
According to Coach Pia, first borns probably have aggressive and compliant traits. They are natural leaders who are driven. They want things to go their way making them assertive and always aiming for perfection. On the compliant end, the oldest child craves approval, is conscientious, a good team player and they are often good with people as well. Most are reliable, great caregivers, and they often have a nurturing personality.
Coach Pia provided the New Beginnings Mums eight tips to effectively parent first-borns:
Whew! Parenting is a lot of hard work but it’s also amazing how a deeper understanding of your first born child can help you become a more empathetic, understanding and overall better parent.
What is your birth order in your family? Your parenting style is also influenced a lot by this factor. Read more on this series of birth order so you can understand the traits and tips of parenting a middle child, a youngest child and an only child.
About the Blogger:
Kris de Guzman, a self-confessed “OC” pens the blog OcMominManila.com. She is a wife and hands-on mum to her two lovely daughters. She is also a momtrepreneur running two businesses – a marketing firm called Your Brand Story Inc. and a water filter business called Aquasana Store.]]>