Archive for Parenting questions

10 Reasons Why Some Kids Aren’t Ready for Kindergarten

10 Reasons Why Some Kids Aren't Ready for Kindergarten | @BloomMaternityStarting kindergarten is one of the biggest milestones in a young child’s life, both for the child and his parents. For kids who have never attended daycare and were not enrolled in preschool, kindergarten can mark the first time he ventures into the world and takes the first steps along a long road towards independence. While most kids start kindergarten at around five years old, there are those who simply aren’t ready to start school when the time rolls around. These are 10 of the most common reasons for delayed kindergarten readiness.

  1. He Has a Late Birthday – Depending on when your child’s birthday is and where it falls in relation to the cut-off date for kindergarten enrollment in your school district, your child could potentially be one of the youngest members of his class and, as such, not quite ready for the rigors of school. Social readiness is also an important factor in determining kindergarten readiness.
  2. She Didn’t Go to Preschool – Kindergarten has changed quite dramatically over the years, and is no longer dedicated to singing songs or taking naps. These days letter and color recognition, basic counting and even early mathematics and pre-reading skills are required to be considered ready for kindergarten. If your child didn’t attend preschool, she may not be quite ready for the demanding atmosphere of kindergarten.
  3. He’s Developmentally Different – Some developmental differences begin to present themselves around the time a child would begin kindergarten, which is one of the reasons why some parents are surprised to find that their little one isn’t quite ready. If you suspect that your child is developmentally different, discussing your concerns with his doctor can help you determine what your next step should be.
  4. She Was Born Prematurely – Premature babies can lag a bit behind their peers developmentally, even as late as kindergarten. According to a study by the University of Nottingham published in the New England Journal of Medicine, up to 52% of prematurely born children experienced developmental delays at age two, with many prematurity-related problems not showing up until the age of five.
  5. He Struggles With Behavioral Problems – Kids who have difficulty controlling their behavior may struggle to adhere to the rules of a kindergarten classroom, especially if he has little experience with a classroom setting. Your child’s behavioral differences can affect his kindergarten readiness and may require a bit of special attention.
  6. She Has a Physical Disability – Public schools are required by Federal law to make allowances for children with special needs, but a physically disabled child may simply not be ready for the relatively demanding schedule of kindergarten when other children her age are starting school.
  7. He Has Speech Problems – One of the areas in which many kindergarten screening tests look for kindergarten readiness is in regards to verbal skills and speech ability. A child who struggles to speak, isn’t verbal at all or has a severe speech impediment may require a bit of extra time before he starts school with his peers.
  8. She Isn’t Fully Potty Trained – Legally, public school districts are not allowed to turn away a student based on their lack of potty training. Still, the humiliation that can accompany regular accidents in front of her classmates may keep your child from thriving. If she’s not potty trained and kindergarten enrollment is approaching, you may need to consult with a pediatrician for advice.
  9. He Can’t Focus On a Given Task – Some kids simply can’t focus on a task they’ve been given. Whether it’s due to attention deficit disorder or developmental differences, a child who isn’t able to focus at all may require special attention in order to thrive in kindergarten.
  10. She Suffers From Severe Separation Anxiety – Most kids who suffer from separation anxiety during the first few days of kindergarten learn to overcome it. An incapability to shake separation anxiety or severe emotional distress can point to more complicated emotional differences, however, which may need to be evaluated by a medical professional before she attends school.

It’s important to remember that at such a young age, most children are developing at their own pace and may not reach milestones at the same time as their peers. Delayed kindergarten readiness isn’t always an indicator of developmental differences that will set your child apart throughout his academic career. Remember how important it is to be patient with your child and help him reach developmental milestones at his own pace.

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How to Decide Between Public and Private Elementary School

In some markets, a parent is having to decide where their child will go to school as soon as they are born. More and more schools have waiting lists starting from preschool on up.

Choosing between enrolling your child in public school and providing him with a private education is a big decision, and one that isn’t an easy one to make. There are benefits and drawbacks to both options, so it’s important to weigh each one carefully to determine which environment is best for your child. Because this choice can have such far-reaching implications and affects both the immediate and long-term future of your child, it’s one that can’t be taken lightly. Before making your decision, it’s wise to take the time to consider the following points:

How to Decide Between Public and Private Elementary School | @BloomMaternity

  • Spiritual Versus Secular Education – If your family is very religious, the idea of a curriculum that draws heavily on your spirituality and places an emphasis on spiritual instruction may be one of the most appealing aspects of a private school. Because these things cannot legally be part of a public school’s curriculum, this can play a large role in the decision that parents ultimately make. In smaller cities and rural areas, religious schools can often be the only option for private education.
  • Cultural Diversity – Most private schools are far less culturally and racially diverse than public schools, and will almost exclusively house children who come from a similar socioeconomic and cultural background to that of your own child. For some parents, this lack of diversity can be off-putting, so you should consider this aspect of private education before making your decision. If it’s important to you that your children’s peers come from a wide range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, a private school may not be the best choice for you and your family. Keep in mind, however, that this is far from being a hard and fast rule. When you visit a private school, ask about the level of diversity there. You may be surprised by what you learn.
  • Economic Feasibility – Private schools can be very expensive, even on the lower end of the spectrum. You may find that it puts a bigger economic strain on your household than you anticipate, leaving your family struggling to afford tuition. Some private schools have scholarship programs in place for academically outstanding children, which can make the costs more manageable. On the same token, just because you can afford private school doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily the best option for your family. It’s best to make your decision based largely on other factors, but the financial implications shouldn’t be completely ignored.
  • Parental Involvement – Private schools typically expect parents to be more actively involved in their children’s education and to periodically volunteer for special activities. It’s important to consider how much involvement you would like to have in your child’s classroom education and to then choose a school that’s an appropriate match.
  • Special Programs – A child with special needs may have those needs better met in a private school that focuses on special education, but he may also be more suited to a public school environment if there are no dedicated private schools in his area. Because public schools are required by law to provide classes and assistance that private schools do not, a public education may ultimately be the best choice for him since there are often more resources and services. Kids who require special attention in the form of advanced classes and gifted programs, however, may do better in a private school with a curriculum designed for high-performing students.
  • Safety and Security – In areas that have a particularly high crime rate or a history of violence in their public schools, a private school may be a safer, less threatening environment. Kids who are frequently bullied in public school will often be so distracted that their academic performance suffers, but may thrive in a private school environment where smaller class sizes make it easier for staff to monitor such situations.

There are rules that are set in stone for determining which school a child should attend. Because every child is different, each situation must be considered individually. Taking all of these factors into account can help you make the right decision for your child and your family as a whole.

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10 Ways to Help Baby Sleep

Need some ideas on how to help baby go to sleep? Check out Lynda Albertson has written 10 tips on how to help your child to go to sleep over at Nanny Babysitters. I thought it was worth sharing.

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Saving Cord Blood as a Lifesaving Medical Resource

Today’s guest post is by Charis Ober, co-founder of Save the Cord Foundation. Charis has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. She graduated from The University of Arizona with a degree in marketing and gained extensive sales and marketing experience by educating physicians, hospitals and medical staff on scientific advances and new product technology. Umbilical cord blood is a valuable, non controversial, medical resources that can be donated to treat and cure over 80 life-threatening diseases like sickle cell and blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma.Cord blood can also be donated to expand cord blood research.

Parents can privately or family bank their newborn’s cord blood and cord tissue for future regenerative medicine therapies for the child. Medical researchers and physicians are currently using autologous or the child’s same cord blood cells in clinical trial treating cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury. Privately banked cord blood can also be saved as a family medical resource for a sick sibling or family member, this is especially important if the family has a history of certain diseases that can be treated with cord blood.

Cord blood has no ethical, religious, moral or religious issues and neither mother or child is harmed in the collection. Save the Cord Foundation’s mission is to provide all expectant parents and the public with non commercial, factual information about the value of saving cord blood, so they can make their own educated decision for their family and child concerning this valuable medical resource.

There are over 3.5 mission births in the US each year, and 95% of all cord blood from these births is thrown out as medical waste. Save the Cord Foundation’s vision is to make saving cord blood the new standard of care of all newborns and birthing hospitals across our nation. Learn the facts and the public and private resources for saving cord blood at

Every cord saved, can save or change a life!

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Summer Camps for Children with Severe Chronic Health Conditions

When a child has a severe chronic health condition such as epilepsy, Asperger’s syndrome, Tourette syndrome, neurofibromatosis, sickle cell anemia, diabetes, congenital heart disease, heart conditions that require pacemakers, ICDs or transplants, Down syndrome, hemiplegia and childhood obesity, it can make it very difficult to find a summer camp where they can feel like they are part of the community. No child should miss out on this important childhood rite of passage, no matter what health issues they have. In order to facilitate a safe and healthy camp environment, the Brainy Camps Association was formed as a subsidiary of Children’s National Medical Center.

Brainy Camps Association is a non-profit organization that provides residential summer camps, family retreats, leadership training and transitional youth programs for children with severe chronic health conditions. We began our mission in 1994 with a camp for children with epilepsy.”

Not only does the camp offer an opportunity for children with chronic health conditions to interact, but they are also located close to the Washington, D. C. area. The campsite is located in Harrisonburg, VA, at the Massanetta Springs Camp and Conference Center, just a few minutes from the Rockingham Memorial Hospital. Physicians and nurses specializing in the chronic conditions of the campers are on-site 24/7.  Transportation is also offered from the Washington, DC area, making it easier for local campers to attend. But you don’t have to live in the D.C. area to camp there. Campers nationwide are welcome to attend the camps.

In order to maintain a healthy and safe environment, the week-long overnight camps are held at different times for groups with different chronic conditions. The camp offers the campers a safe, fun experience where they can meet other children with similar conditions, often for the first time in their lives.  Not only do the children have the opportunity to swim, dance and play, they also gain knowledge about their medical conditions from experts in the field and learn to be independent, self-reliant, and effective partners with their medical providers in the administration of their health.

Brainy Campers can participate in numerous activities including swimming, fishing, boating, archery, arts & crafts, pottery, team sports, challenge course and camp Olympics.  Support groups and educational programs are offered at camp that promotes awareness, skill development and relational networks.   During their week at camp, campers have an opportunity to acquire a sense of who they are, what they have to offer and where they want to go in the future, regardless of their medical conditions.

Brainy Camps offer a great opportunity for children with severe chronic health conditions to experience this important part of growing up. No one should miss out on the fun and community spirit of summer camp, no matter what health issues they have. Brainy Camps offer a solution for campers with issues to become a part of summer camp fun.

Author Byline:

Ken Myers the editor in chief is a frequent contributor of Ken helps acquiring knowledge on the duties & responsibilities of nannies to society. You can reach him at


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Beaten Up By a Sunbeam

Beaten up by a sunbeam

Just a reminder to all that the sun is brutal and we need to make sure our are babies covered in sunscreen.

Last week the Food and Drug Administration issued new rules for labeling sunscreen.  Though confusing, the New York Times wrote a concise article to help resolve the confusion.

In an excerpt from The New York Times is this important recommendation for Moms: “In tests of 22 sunscreens, Consumer Reports found nine to be effective against UVB and UVA and ranked three as “Best Buys”: Up & Up Sport SPF spray (88 cents an ounce) at Target; No-Ad With Aloe andVitamin E SPF 45 lotion (59 cents); and Equate Baby SPF 50 lotion (63 cents). “

Though I’m usually very good about lathering the boys with sunscreen, yesterday we missed a spot or two.  Here’s my Sunbeam after he got beaten up by the another sunbeam. Unfortunately his baseball hat didn’t quite cover up his eyes. I’ll be saving this article for future reference to make sure I’m doing all that I can to help my children preserve their skin for the future — and mine too.

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Bringing Baby Home

The early days

One of the best tips I received about bringing a newborn baby into the house was how to make his older sibling feel included with this new addition.

Firecracker was born at midnight, and at 4 a.m. I had a lovely nurse stop in my room to check on him. As my husband snoozed away (as if he was the one whom had just given birth), our nurse quietly reminded me how to care for a newborn; and then she gave me some unsolicited advice that was golden: how to made sure our 2 year-old accepted the baby.

Her advice? When we arrived at the house with our new bundle of joy, make sure it isn’t Mommy who was carrying the newborn into the house. Leave that symbolic event to Dad.

Her second piece of advice was to bring a present for the oldest from “the baby.” This would show that the baby recognized the importance of having a big brother or sister.

At the time my 26 month old son was very attached to me; so we appreciated this nugget of wisdom. We did just as the nurse advised. My husband carried our newborn into the house, the baby gave his older sibling, Sunbeam, a set of bridges for his Thomas the Train set, and then we set the sleeping baby off to the side so we could devote our attention to Sunbeam.

After about forty-five minutes Sunbeam showed interest in the bundle that slightly moved in the corner. After checking him out for a couple of minutes, he ran off, found a toy, and gave it to the baby as a gift.

They’ve been best buds ever since.

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