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Age-Appropriate Chores: How to Help Kids Be Responsible

07/02/2018 12:00:00

Dirty dishes. Messy bedrooms. Toys on the living room floor. Some days, there just isn't a good way to avoid the chore wars. But there is always tomorrow, and you can be proactive. Ask yourself, What chores are important for my children to learn, and what are they capable of doing?

Before finding the answer, recognize the difference between a chore (an ongoing task that benefits the household) and a life skill (an activity that children should know how to do before living on their own, such as managing a checking account). The following list is not a life-skills checklist. It is a list of age-appropriate chores.

As you view it, remember that every child matures at a different pace. Adjust this chart to what you know about your children's skills and talents, and realize that no child should do all of the chores listed below every day. (And if you want to set the scene for your kids, have them listen to Signed, Sealed and Committed, an Adventures in Odyssey album in which some kids threaten to go on a chore strike. Or have them read about some of the chores that kids did in Jericho within the story "Trapped!" in Bible Kidventures: Stories of Danger and Courage.)

The following list is only meant as a guide and reflects the types of chores that many children in specific age ranges are capable of completing. And we've included some links from some of these chores that offer hands-on, practical ways to train your children to do them. Hopefully, these general guidelines may help your children succeed in personal and family responsibility: 

Ages 2 and 3

Personal chores

Family chores

Ages 4 and 5

Note: This age can be trained to use a family chore chart. 

Personal chores

Family chores

Ages 6 and 7

Note: This age can be supervised to use a family chore chart.

Personal chores

  • Make their bed every day
  • Brush teeth
  • Comb hair
  • Choose the day's outfit and get dressed
  • Write thank you notes with supervision

Family chores

Ages 8 to 11

Note: This age benefits from using a family chore chart.

Personal chores

Family chores

  • Wash dishes
  • Wash the family car with supervision
  • Prepare a few easy meals on their own
  • Clean the bathroom with supervision
  • Rake leaves
  • Learn to use the washer and dryer
  • Put all laundry away with supervision
  • Take the trash can to the curb for pick up
  • Test smoke alarms once a month with supervision
  • Screen phone calls using caller ID and answer when appropriate

Ages 12 and 13

Personal chores

  • Take care of personal hygiene, belongings and homework
  • Write invitations and thank you notes
  • Set their alarm clock
  • Maintain personal items, such as recharging batteries
  • Change bed sheets
  • Keep their rooms tidy and do a biannual deep cleaning

Family chores

  • Change light bulbs
  • Change the vacuum bag
  • Dust, vacuum, clean bathrooms and do dishes
  • Clean mirrors
  • Mow the lawn with supervision
  • Baby sit (in most states)
  • Prepare an occasional family meal

Ages 14 and 15

Personal chores

  • Responsible for all personal chores for ages 12 and 13
  • Responsible for library card and books

Family chores

  • Do assigned housework without prompting
  • Do yard work as needed
  • Baby sit
  • Prepare food — from making a grocery list and buying the items (with supervision) to serving a meal — occasionally
  • Wash windows with supervision

Ages 16 to 18

Personal chores

  • Responsible for all personal chores for ages 14 and 15
  • Responsible to earn spending money
  • Responsible for purchasing their own clothes
  • Responsible for maintaining any car they drive (e.g., gas, oil changes, tire pressure, etc.)

Family chores

  • Do housework as needed
  • Do yard work as needed
  • Prepare family meals — from grocery list to serving it — as needed
  • Deep cleaning of household appliances, such as defrosting the freezer, as needed

Article from: www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/parenting-challenges/motivating-kids-to-clean-up/age-appropriate-chores?p=1174003

Keeping Kids Hydrated

06/05/2018 12:00:00

Make sure your children get plenty of liquids to stay healthy and active this summer, and help them develop good hydration habits for a lifetime.

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Girl drinking water

No Sweat

Children are much more prone to dehydration than adults because their bodies don't cool down as efficiently, and they are never more at risk than during the heat of summer. The danger arises when fluids are leaving the body through sweating faster than they are being replaced, and severe dehydration can be life-threatening. Taking a few simple precautions will protect your child and allow him to enjoy the summer fun safely.

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Girl drinking juice

Power Aid

Perhaps the best way to keep your child hydrated is to get her used to drinking liquids regularly. Offer healthy beverages at every meal and with snacks. And if you know a particularly busy or strenuous day is coming up in your child's schedule, add some extra hydration in her first meal of the day or even the night before. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking the equivalent of a standard bottle of water (16.9 oz.) about 2 hours before vigorous exercise.

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boy drinking water from water fountain

Wet Their Whistles

Don't wait until your child is thirsty to offer refreshment; by that time he is already dehydrated. Three studies by the University of Connecticut found that more than half of the children at sports camps were significantly dehydrated despite the availability of water and sports drinks and the encouragement to drink liquids. Get your child in the habit early on by scheduling frequent beverage breaks during activity, about every 20 minutes or so in hot weather. If possible, take all hydration breaks in a shady spot.

 
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bottle of water

Raise a Glass

Following an organized game, kids are usually wild with excitement at a win or despondent in defeat. Keep your team focused by making a healthy beverage and snack part of the after-activity celebration or cooldown. Toast the efforts or success of the team to encourage your little athletes to drink the necessary quantities for good health.

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glass of water

 

Water Weight

How can you tell that your child is getting enough liquids? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children drink six glasses of water on an average day. During activity, however, your child can lose up to a half-liter of fluid per hour. The AAP suggests about 5 ounces (or two kid-size gulps) of water or a sports drink every 20 minutes for an 88-pound child. Kids and teens weighing about 132 pounds should drink 9 ounces.

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ice cooler

Safety on Ice

Water is generally considered nature's perfect drink and the best liquid for routine hydration. It's inexpensive (often free), widely available, and suitable for everyone. When you pack a cooler for a game, freeze a number of water bottles ahead of time. The frozen bottles will keep the others cool and you will be able to pack more drinks in the cooler instead of filling the cooler with ice.

Keep in mind that while ice-cold beverages might seem like the perfect remedy for thirst, it's much better to provide liquids at a moderate temperature. Those first cold sips might be refreshing but it's hard for children (and even adults) to drink the necessary quantities at extreme temperatures.

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sports drink

Flavor Wins

Sports drinks might be your best bet for getting adequate amounts of liquids into your child during activities. Studies have shown that children routinely prefer flavored beverages to plain water and will drink up to 90 percent more when it is offered to them. Sports drinks also replace electrolytes lost from the body through sweating. Such beverages should be limited to use during athletic competitions or active play on a hot day, as they are generally high in carbohydrates and calories.

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soccer player drinking water

Banned from the Sport

When choosing drinks for kids, avoid those that have caffeine, such as iced tea or many sodas. As a diuretic, caffeine can contribute to the dehydration process by increasing fluid loss. In addition, as a stimulant, it can depress the symptoms of dehydration. Beverages such as soda or juice-flavored drinks might taste refreshing, but the high sugar content is unhealthy for many reasons and should be avoided for hydration except as a last resort.

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frozen popsicles

Cool Idea

Kids can get caught up in their activities and are easily distracted by games, so chances are they won't jump at the chance for a rest period. If you have a hard time convincing your child to take a break from play to drink a beverage, offer a Popsicle. These frozen treats have high water content (a two-stick Popsicle has just about the right amount for a young child's needs), and their juicy flavors make them more appealing to kids.

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girl eating watermelon

Sweet Choices

Many fruits are excellent sources of water as well as being a nutritious snack. Offer fruits often during playtime and throw them in the cooler for after-game snacks. Fruit juice has a higher concentration of sugar than whole fruit and because of that, it's not the best beverage choice for hydration during strenuous exercise. But the AAP (American Academy of Pediatric) does see a place for it among your options: for activity periods longer than three hours, the AAP suggests a drink of half water and half 100-percent juice.

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girl eating veggies

 

Eat Your Veggies

Always include high-water-content foods in your daily meal planning to help your family stay well-hydrated at all times so strenuous activities don't find them in a deficit. In addition to water, fruit, fruit juice, and many vegetables are excellent sources of hydration. Clear soup, especially when made with vegetables, offers an ideal way to get liquid into the diet along with good nutrition.

 
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Motts apple juice

 

Winning Strategy

As they get older, you won't be able to follow your kids everywhere to ensure they're getting the liquids they need. But you can help them to understand the importance of hydrating frequently for good health. Instill in them early on the habits of frequent beverage breaks and choosing liquids wisely. Help those good habits along by always packing good sources of hydration into their lunchboxes or backpacks as not-so-subtle reminders to keep up the good work!

 

Article from: www.parents.com/kids/safety/outdoor/keeping-kids-hydrated/

How Much Sleep Do Babies and Kids Need?

05/02/2018 12:00:00

Babies, children, and teens need significantly more sleep than adults to support their rapid mental and physical development. Most parents know that growing kids need good sleep, but many don't know just how many hours kids require, and what the impact can be of missing as little as 30 to 60 minutes of sleep time.

One of the reasons it's so hard to know when our kids are getting insufficient sleep is that drowsy children don't necessarily slow down the way we do—they wind up. In fact, sleepiness can look like symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children often act as if they're not tired, resisting bedtime and becoming hyper as the evening goes on. All this can happen because the child is overtired.

There are some underlying psychiatric conditions, such as attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), that can cause sleep loss in children. Researchers and clinicians are also finding that sleep apnea—which most people tend to think of as an adult sleep disorder—is relatively common in children as well. A person who has sleep apnea wakes up many times every hour, very briefly, as they struggle to breathe. Most people do not know they are experiencing these events unless they are told or have a test to confirm sleep apnea. Children who snore may be at risk for or currently suffering from sleep apnea, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recently recommended that pediatricians ask about and screen for this sleep disorder in children at routine well visits.

If you suspect your child isn't sleeping enough, it's important to talk to your pediatrician. If there is an underlying sleep disorder or another medical condition at play, your doctor may refer you to a sleep specialist to discuss various treatments options. In many cases, though, sleep deprivation in children can be helped with changes to the environment and habits surrounding bedtime. Research shows that an early bedtime (between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. works best for babies and kids through school age) and a consistent, soothing, wind-down routine with no screen time—such as TVs, tablets, and the like—will lead to better sleep.

While every child is slightly different in terms of how much sleep they need, most require the following to be fully rested:

Age

Recommended

May be appropriate

Not recommended

Newborns

0-3 months

 

14 to 17 hours

11 to 13 hours

18 to 19 hours

Less than 11 hours

More than 19 hours

Infants

4-11 months

 

12 to 15 hours

10 to 11 hours

16 to 18 hours

Less than 10 hours

More than 18 hours

Toddlers

1-2 years

 

11 to 14 hours

9 to 10 hours

15 to 16 hours

Less than 9 hours

More than 16 hours

Preschoolers

3-5 years

 

10 to 13 hours

8 to 9 hours

14 hours

Less than 8 hours

More than 14 hours

School-aged Children

6-13 years

 

9 to 11 hours

7 to 8 hours

12 hours

Less than 7 hours

More than 12 hours

Teenagers

14-17 years

 

8 to 10 hours

7 hours

11 hours

Less than 7 hours

More than 11 hours

Young Adults

18-25 years

 

7 to 9 hours

6 hours

10 to 11 hours

Less than 6 hours

More than 11 hours

Article from: www.sleepfoundation.org

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