Is your child staying up past their bedtime? Are they restless? Full of energy? Well some things may be keeping them up that we don’t even realize!
Fruit! Pineapples and citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits, are acidic, which can irritate sensitive bladders. While that slight irritation poses no health risks, it may be forcing your little one to go to the bathroom during the night, possibly multiple times. Your little one's favorite fruits and juices are best consumed earlier in the day.
Keep pets out of the bedroom! Dogs and cats are great for cuddling, but not for sleep. Donielle Wilson, a naturopathic doctor who sees many insomnia patients and is working on a book about natural solutions for sleep, says that pets wake up their owners too often. Even little critters like hamsters can get noisy enough to interrupt a kid’s sleep, so Wilson recommends that cages don’t stay in the room, either.
Dust frequently! If your child coughs or sneezes while asleep, or after wrapping themselves in their comfy blanket, they may be allergic to dust mites, the tiny microscopic creatures found in just about every home on Earth. Invisible to the naked eye, dust mites live in pillows, comforters and couches. While the mites are harmless to humans directly, they secrete a protein that can irritate our respiratory system. To minimize allergies, wash bedding frequently, avoid feather or down blankets and keep rooms dry and dust-free.
Establish a routine! Kids are creatures of habit -- both psychologically and physiologically. They do better with well-established schedules around homework time, dinner time and getting-ready-for-bed time. Create a bedtime routine that eliminates energizing activities and promotes calm and relaxation, such as reading or putting toys away.
Too much screen time! Children love swiping on Ipads, phones, computers, etc. However, they emit a Blue Light that decreases the production of sleep melatonin. That messes up the body’s internal clock and may keep our little ones awake longer.
Quality family time! Research suggests that sleep can improve simply by spending quality time as a family.
Ahh the season of giving! Its much more fun to give, than it is to receive. Sometimes its hard to teach our little ones that. Giving or sharing a toy can provide happiness for someone else, and that’s an amazing gift to give someone. But you cannot give what you don’t have. We are going to discuss things that can be given to others, that don’t cost a penny!
Some people may say, “Time is Money.” We try to live by a different motto, “Time isn’t guaranteed, so spend it with those you love.” Give your children or family members your time this holiday season. Watch a Christmas movie, play a game, build a gingerbread house, decorate the tree, etc. Just spend time together, because now more than ever it is easy to recognize that time together can be taken from us at any moment.
Give your patience in those stressful moments when it seems like everything isn’t going your way. Take a breath and deal with the annoyances, delays, rejections and setbacks without losing your cool. Patience isn’t always waiting or being passive. Patience is something we all can struggle with at times, but if you consciously work on it, its easy to understand that it is critical to moving towards your dreams and goals.
People give when they are grateful for what they have. Around Thanksgiving and Christmas we really emphasize being thankful when in reality we all have a lot to be thankful for year-round. Around these holidays, we come together with humor and love, but gratitude reigns supreme. Showing your gratitude for family members, strangers, teachers, everyday heroes, etc. can change someone’s life. Gratitude can be internal with a positive thought, or external like thanking a spouse. At times we can get caught up in the fast pace society we live in and can take things for granted. Take a moment this holiday season, and show your gratitude for the people in your lives.
nMany times, our lives become so busy that we forget or don’t make the time to reflect on what is going on, the good and the bad. With the stay at home order, we now have had the time made for us. There is only so much organizing, cleaning, and home renovation projects you can do until you are left with your own personal thoughts. Maybe with the extra time, you picked up a new hobby, or you learned something about a family member or spouse that you did not know before, or you discovered a new interest that you did not know you had. I am going to list 3 things that I have learned since the stay home order was placed.
As many of you know, we have been posting weekly about our #LivingTheValues Campaign. This campaign aims to explain our company values: Commitment, Continuous Improvement, Character, and Optimism, as well as demonstrate where we see those values in our employees every day. Anyone and any company can say, “The values that mean the most to us our _____, ______, and ______.” However, the actions of the individual or of the company could be different and the values fall by the waist-side. There is a common saying, “Actions speak louder than words.” That is why we feel it is important to share specific instances, big and small, where our staff, children, and community members share our values.
Core values are the things that you believe are most important in the way you live and work. Core values should determine your priorities and the priorities of your company. Core values are what support the vision of your company and help shape its culture. They are the essence of the company’s identity – their principles, beliefs and philosophies. Many companies focus mostly on the technical competencies but often forget the underlying competencies that make their companies run smoothly.
Having clear core values makes decision-making a lot more simple. Making value-based choices may not always be easy. However, making a choice that you know is right is a lot less difficult in the long run. And if you empower your employees to make decisions, there is no better way than to have them make those decisions then basing those decisions on the core values of your company.
Lastly, always reinforce your core values. Remind yourself of them, and their importance. This will strengthen your relationships, as well as help as a reminder to make decisions in a fair and ethical manner.
So, what values mean most to you? Do you live by those values? Do your actions correspond with what you believe? How important are they to you?
Being charitable is another word for having gratitude and compassion for others, specifically those in need. To be charitable to others, I believe you first must be gracious for your own life. Gracious people are happier, more sociable, less depressed and neurotic, and have higher levels of satisfaction within their own lives. If you express gratitude to the people around you, you are recognizing that they are a positive impact on your life. Many times, the people around us do not even realize how important they are in our lives. I have always wondered why we don’t stop more often and be grateful and recognize that the people that need you, you may also need them.
Having compassion is the concern and willingness to help someone who is suffering. Identifying with another person – identifying with their pain, is hard-wired in us as human beings. Everyone’s resources are different when it comes to giving back and paying it forward. Maybe you can donate clothes, money, furniture, toys, and maybe most importantly your time. However, a common phrase is, “Be aware of the naked man, who offers you his shirt.” You cannot give, what you do not have. You do not need all the answers to help someone. Just be yourself and take time to be with them. Your presence can be more powerful than you think.
At Discovery Days & Kids Connection Childcare, we are always thinking of ways to pay it forward to our communities. Over the course of 20+ years we have organized countless toy drives, school supplies drives, 5k fundraising walks for Alzheimer’s or Brain Cancer or Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Food drives, Fundraising car washes, sponsoring local youth sports teams, and countless other events. We relate with the idea that there is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.
So, go ahead! Lift the world up around you and pay it forward! It could be big or small like holding a door open for a stranger. Just whatever you do, make a positive difference in the lives around you!
Oh, the holidays. What a magical time of the year. Christmas is right around the corner, joy and glee are in the air, and family from all around are coming together! You find yourself responding to the same “what are you doing for the holidays?” question over and over, as well as seeing thousands of picturesque photos of people’s family’s, trees, homes, lights, etc. This can be a bit overwhelming with all the activities we may still have to complete!
So…ENOUGH already…this holiday season (because it’ll be here any second), let’s be a little kinder to ourselves—as in, give ourselves a break!
1. Avoid Competition—At All Costs
Remember that scene in How the Grinch Stole Christmas when Betty Lou Who was competing with Martha May Whovier for the best lights in Whoville? This is the equivalent to comparing your Christmas cards, trees, lights, homes, etc. to everyone else’s you see on social media. Step away from that comparison and focus on the people you love and the private memories you make—not the ones everyone sees you make. Those are fleeting; the real ones last a lifetime.
2. Saying No is fine!
The holidays are an inherently busy time of year with parties, school wrapping up, concerts and plays, shopping and wrapping, decadent meal planning…the whole nine yards. You can only be in so many places at once, and complete so many tasks. If you have the energy and the desire, go for it. But if you find you’re saying yes to too many things in a week (or a day), slow down. There’s no shame in only being able to do so much, and you’ll enjoy what you DO complete so much more. Simplify in your focus. What you focus on grows,
3. Remember What Who the Holidays Are About
With that overwhelming feeling, you may feel pulled in a thousand different directions: the kitchen, mall, work, the secret room in your house where you do the gift wrapping. We need to remember that we MAKE time the to have those precious memories with your family and dearest friends. These are the memories that your kids will remember when they have families of their own. Setting that standard that family is the most important thing is crucial. So, bring the kids to the mall with you (when you can); bake cookies with them, not just for them; snuggle up and read a Christmas book or watch a holiday movie together and leave your phone on the charger. Take time to be PRESENT this holiday season. It’s truly the greatest gift you can give, not just to those around you, but equally as importantly, to yourself.
Albert Einstein once said, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
It is starting to get to that time of the year that in order to go outside, a process of bundling up to stay warm occurs. Although this is a time-consuming, it is still crucially important to spend some time outside. Nature provides serious benefits to our bodies and minds. Unplug and let the body and mind wander. Below are 5 reasons why it is still important to get outside – even when it is cold.
Being an optimist can mean many things. Bert Jacobs in the book “Life is Good” describes optimism as, “A powerful and pragmatic strategy for accomplishing goals and living a meaningful life.” Optimism is broad in the sense that it means to be positive, cheerful, strong-willed, believable, and open-minded. Being an optimist means you are experiencing the world around you with open arms and an eye towards growth and progress. Pessimism is corrosive, realism lacks creativity, and optimism is boundless. Below I list the 2nd and 3rd superpowers to be an optimist:
Superpower #8 Creativity:
You can light the way of creativity by feeding your childlike curiosity, daring to explore new ideas, and sharing those ideas collaboratively. The only requirement is an adventurous spirit.
We adults tend to fear the judgment of our peers far more than kids do. Were more sensitive to opinions. Whereas healthy children can scribble out a drawing and flash it proudly, adults tend to self-censor ideas, tapping the delete key all too early and often.
Creativity wants out, so let it go and let it flow.
Your own positive impact multiplies when you're able to sync your creative pursuits with your existing values and passions. For example, a teacher out at Kids Connection Rivercrest had the idea for having a Facebook group where you share your artwork, activity, or goals, etc. with all other teachers at all the centers. Use your passion for taking care of children to get creative with new activities.
By admitting you don’t know the answer, that frees you to ask openly, engage, and listen so we can co-create the answer instead of butting heads or defending our own fraction of a solution.
Connection with those around you, talk and collaborate about a solution, and finally create the solution. A PB and J sandwich is much greater than the sum of its parts.
There is inspiration all around you, especially when you dial your mind in on a subject of love. Not all who wander are lost, this applies to your mind as much as your body. In the end, creativity is like a muscle, if you don’t use it, you lose it.
Superpower #9 Authenticity:
We want to stay true to ourselves, feel comfortable in our skin, and express ourselves, naturally. We also want to live consistently in sync with our strongest values. However, I understand it can be a real challenge when external influences pressure us to be someone we’re not. In the end, know who you are, and act like it.
We are all drawn to the real deal. Folks who walk the talk and are comfortable in their own skin are people we like to be around. How can all of us stay grounded in our core beliefs while we all continue to change and evolve?
To deepen self-knowledge and stay true to yourself, it’s invaluable to have people close by who know you well enough to tell you the truth. For example, my brother Blake and I have no problem calling each other out and keeping each other honest. Familiarity and trust make directness – straight talk – easier to give and take. People tend to be more forgiving when they know you’re listening, you’re trying, and your aim is true.
Authenticity that creates deep trust includes exposing vulnerability, acting with humility, and admitting when we drop the ball.
For humans, staying true in the moment is tough for us, and it’s a lifelong quest. Perfection is not achievable on this quest, but improvement always is. On one hand, it takes strong determination to openly acknowledge our flaws and keep striving to improve. On the other hand, trusting your instincts, pure introspection, and always doing what we love can be the ultimate form of expression of our best self.
Superpower #10 Love:
Love can be expressed authentically in words- from a sincere “How are you?” or “How can I help?” all the way to a phrase my mom uses “What the heck were you thinking?” that’s considered tough love, but love nonetheless. However, sometimes love needs no words.
Love is action. Deeds, selfless acts, following through on something. It’s being there when your asked, but also when you're not asked. We are wise to remember that our actions – and often, our mere presence – can speak even louder.
Humans beings are social creatures. We need love to reinforce deep connection to each other. When we receive a good hug, a warm smile, even a heartfelt high five or fist bump from someone we love, the positive result bolts right past our brains and goes straight to the heart. It makes us feel one with humanity. And providing that positive charge to others can be even more rewarding.
Do what you love, love what you do. “Do what you love.” It says “Do” and not “Say” for a reason. Because love is action. Don’t think so much all the time. Relax the mind and do what feels good. Your body is wise. Listen to your body. If your body wants to run, then run! “Love what you do.” This is about pride in one’s actions – in other words, living in such a way that when you look back on your actions, you feel satisfaction. This is about a fulfilling life, a life with a purpose.
The more you share your love, the more you connect with people you love – and the more you connect with the people you love, the richer your life is. This is a recipe tested, and it will never change, so spread love. Don’t keep it in a jar, spread it like peanut butter, because life is good.