Archive for April, 2008

Boys Will Be Boys.

What do you do when your excited son shows you the snake that he has just captured?  Do you get angry when the spiders that he gathered get loose in your house?  How do you feel when he comes home with his new outfit covered in mud?  I think that all Moms’ will agree that boys will be boys.

My son has always been terrified of bugs.  He liked to look from a distance, or on a brave occasion poke at them with a long stick, but the second a bug made any contact with his skin or clothing he would become terrified.  While I felt bad that he had this fear, I was also relieved in a way.  I have always heard that having a son would mean that he would always be dirty, and would bring home all kinds of bugs which I was not excited about.  Until recently, none of this had happened.

My husband took my son exploring in a nearby field.  He had never gone into the field because I had told him about all of the bugs and snakes in there; that did not sound fun to him.  However after exploring with Dad, he had a new appreciation for all of the creepy crawly things that he saw.

A few days later he told me that he had caught a bug.  I pictured a little ladybug or something and congratulated him. Minutes later he came up to me and had a large cricket on his arm.  It was crawling from hand to hand and arm to arm; my son was smiling from ear to ear.  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, grab the camera, or hurry and get the bug off of him.

I watched for a minute and then thought to myself…boys will be boys.  One fear conquered, what will be next?

Have questions about naptime or nosebleeds?  We have help at Childn’ Parent.

By:  Vanessa Lee

Add comment April 30th, 2008

Get the Fun Going for Your Child With Tee Ball!

With spring here, its time to get your child ready to take off in tee ball!  This exciting sport gives children experience in running, coordination, muscle strength and cooperative teamwork skills.  Working with your child on basic tee ball drills will help them get ready to play a better game.

Soft Sock Ball Grounders

This fun inside drill helps a child get ready to catch grounders.  Roll up one or two socks into a big softball. Have your child stand several feet away and roll the soft sock ball in a straight line toward the child.  Have your child practice using the mitt by scooping up the sock ball in a clutch.  Point out that the clutched mitt is like an alligator with a mouth that opens and closes. Practicing the alligator clutch over and over will encourage the habit of squeezing the mitt whenever the ball is in it.

Running the Bases

Small children can get easily confused by which way to run, especially during an exciting game.  In the backyard or at a park, set up a baseball diamond with three bases and a home plate.  Have your child run the bases touching on each one briefly while yelling out which base they are on.  This experience helps build confidence and gives your child a directional map so they know which way to run during an actual game.

For great help on sporting drills, coaching your child’s team, selecting a bat and saving money on sporting equipment be sure to read our tee ball article at  Child n’Parent.

By Debby Hoffer

Add comment April 25th, 2008

We Run for Fun!

After seeing Mom run as a way to stay fit and keep her piece of mind with three small children, my daughter, age 9, decided that she would like to begin running and eventually start to race.

As we sat down and discussed what she knew about running, I realized that she did not know much. However, she noticed that when I would run, I would have fun. She said that she wanted to be healthy, and she wanted to learn to run faster so that she would do better at sports. I told her that this was a great idea and that I would love to help her get started.

The first thing that any runner needs is some good running shoes. I explained to her the value of having shoes that would properly support your feet and help keep your body in proper alignment. Second, she would need to spend a little time stretching before and after her run. Stretching helps to prevent injury. Third, she would need to start out slowly, and gradually build up her mileage and speed.

After the quick lesson, she was ready to run. She got ready, put on her iPod, and was out the door. She came home about 10 minutes later and said that she felt great and was ready to race. It was the fastest run ever, but the important part was that she had planted a seed. She found something healthy and active that could benefit her for years to come and she wanted to pursue running for fun.

As parents, we need to encourage our children to engage in healthy activities that keep them moving, and build strong lungs and a healthy heart. Running is a great way to give your child an amazing workout in a short amount of time. Running will help them gain strength and build endurance and will help them to excel in future sports.

To find races and events in your area suitable for children, visit

Click here to find Parenting Tips and help with Youth Sports.

By Vanessa Lee

Add comment April 21st, 2008

Fun in the Sun Activities for Kids !

Springtime is here and its time for fun in the sun with inexpensive outdoor activities for kids.  In the last twenty years, the number of overweight children in the United States has doubled making child obesity a serious parental concern.  Outdoor games can help parents and kids stay in shape and create lasting memories in your own backyard!

Red Rover Red Rover
This old fashioned game involves running and stretching.  Divide children into two teams with one team situated on either side of the backyard.   Have the children stand in a line, face forward while stretching out their arms and clasping hands.  One team starts the game by calling “Red Rover, Red Rover send (child’s name) right over.”  The child named runs to the other team and tries to break through the clasped hands.  If the child cannot break through, they return to their original team.    If the child does break through, have them join hands with the opposing team. The next team then takes a turn. Play the game until each child has had a running turn.

Duck, Duck Goose
This is a fun game for small preschool children which involves running and memory skills.  Have the children sit in a circle.  Pick one child to be it.  Have the child walk around the circle tapping each child on the head saying duck.  When the child is ready to run, have them tap a child and say goose.  The child tapped as the goose then gets up and runs around the circle chasing the other child until he or she finds a spot in the circle to sit down.  If the goose child taps the duck child before sitting down, the duck child is out.  Play the game until each child has had a turn.

The Two-Legged Relay Race
This game teaches teamwork, running and coordination skills.  Divide children into two teams and have them buddy up with a partner.  Have them stand with their legs side by side.  Take an old rag and tie it securely around the left leg of one partner to the right leg of the other partner.  Putting their arms across their shoulders, have them practice running across the yard.  Set a starting point and have the first two teams race across the yard and back to the next set of buddies.  Each set of buddies takes a turn tying the rag around the legs and racing across the yard.   The first team to finish wins!

Find Parenting Tips for swimming and team sports at Childn’Parent and more fun games at:          Rainbow/Org     and   Disney Family 

By:  Debby Hoffer

1 comment April 15th, 2008

Parenting Tips for Children’s Eye Safety Playing Sports

Approximately 600,000 Americans suffer sports-related eye injuries every year¹, and approximately 43 percent occur in children younger than 15 years of age². If your child is signed up for tee-ball, baseball, softball, tennis or soccer this spring, a few simple steps can help protect them from becoming a statistic.

One big misconception is that “normal” eyewear is sufficient for your child to wear while playing sports. It’s not. Wearing the proper protective eyewear is important to fully protect their eyes, say the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association (OOPA) and American Optometric Association (AOA).

According to these groups, conventional frames and lenses don’t meet the minimum requirements for impact resistance in most sports, so even a small collision can easily turn into a sight-threatening injury. Sports-protective eyewear, on the other hand, is tested to meet rigid safety standards, and some have been independently verified and received the AOA Seal of Acceptance.

It’s also important to take your child for an eye exam before letting him or her play. These exams can detect vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, all of which can diminish your child’s performance on the field or court.

Many parents may not realize that the sport of paintball is especially dangerous to their child’s eyes. The size of the paintball and the velocity with which it’s projected make it particularly threatening. Participants and bystanders alike can sustain injuries from this popular sport.

Every 13 minutes, an emergency room in the United States treats a sports-related eye injury3, nearly all of which could be prevented by using the proper protective eyewear. Whether your child is playing for fun or for competition this spring, do all you can to ensure they play – and see – well.

Brad Smith is an optometric physician in Portland and a member of the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association. See an OOPA informational on kids’ sports vision.

Check out Parenting Tips for children’s safety at Childn’ Parent.

¹ Tri-Service Vision Conservation and Readiness Program, Eyes (Ears) and Workers Compensation

² U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

3 US Consumer Product Safety Commission

Add comment April 8th, 2008


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