Discover The Most Important Developmental Milestones For A 4-to-5 Year Old Child

 Discover-The-Most-Important-Developmental-Milestones-For-A-4-to-5-Year-Old-ChildEvery parent wants what is best for their child. It’s one of the reasons people work so hard, in an attempt to give them everything that they didn’t have when growing up. It also encourages children to succeed in life as they know they have the support of loving parents behind them.

The role of child development should be shared between you and the early learning center you’ve chosen. That’s why it’s so important to choose a reputable center, such as this early learning Chatswood. You’ll need all the help you can get!

But, to ensure your child is progressing properly, you need to be aware of the key development milestones for a 4-5-year-old. This will allow you to seek expert help if your child is falling short on all of them.

However, you should note that children do develop at different rates. If your child is close to achieving the relevant milestones then you shouldn’t panic.

Language & Cognitive Milestones

By the time your child is 5 years old, you’ll be aware that they are often singing, rhyming, or simply making up words. This is a positive sign as they explore the limits of their language.

In development terms you can expect them to form complete sentences, these don’t need to be excessively complex.

They should also be able to name three or four colors and several shapes. Advanced children may even be able to write their own name.

At this stage it is normal for children to understand the concepts of the day, for example, to know that breakfast is in the morning and lunch at midday (ish).

They will also be able to identify and respond to simple commands, such as ‘stop!’

Hands & Fingers

Another key part of development is the ability to physically complete simple tasks when asked. This infringes on command recognition. However, as these tasks are often represented as fun play, your child should have no issue responding.

A 4-5-year-old should be able to hop on one foot for 10 seconds or more. They should be able to walk up and down the stairs without assistance, although that won’t stop you worrying about them.

In addition, your child should be able to walk forward and backward, pedal a tricycle, and copy shapes. This can be on paper or by creating them out of objects, such as sticks, building blocks, or even sand.

The average 4-5-year-old can also draw a person. The resemblance won’t be perfect but they should distinguish between a head and a body.

They should also be able to stack at least ten blocks without them falling over and use a fork, spoon, and a knife; if you choose to give the one. This is also a good time for them to be able to brush their teeth by themselves.

Don’t worry if your child is falling a little short of these developmental milestones. Just keep monitoring and talking to your medical professional.

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5 Ways to Keep Your Teens Out of Trouble

Most parents associate adolescence with trouble-making and a bad attitude. While some of this may be the reality of parenting a teen, the truth is that there are ways to make the journey a little less bumpy for the two of you. As a parent, you are in control of and responsible for their development as they navigate young adulthood and become their own individuals. To help you along the way, here are five tips that will help you keep your teen out of trouble and on the right path.

1. Provide them with the professional support they need.

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Adolescence is a period of growth and discovery, but it can also be one ripe with challenges. Teens are just beginning to figure out who they are, deal with peer pressure, and cope with difficult or confusing feelings they may have about themselves and others. Other teens may be dealing with serious problems at home or at school that can greatly impact their mental health. No matter what your teen may be going through, one way to provide them with the support they need is by enlisting the help of a mental health professional.

Therapy, specifically cognitive behavioral therapy, can help your teen to recognize negative thought patterns and limiting beliefs that they may be experiencing. It can also allow them to learn coping mechanisms and cultivate the awareness needed to overcome the challenges they may be facing. Beyond any specific problem they may encounter, going to therapy will allow them to vent any frustrations and learn skills that they can use whenever they find themselves overwhelmed. There are many types of therapy, so whatever your teen may need is out there. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about finding a therapist for your adolescent, if you don’t know if you should be finding a cbt therapist, a psychiatrist, or a psychotherapist, it’s all right. When you reach out to a reputable organization like the Therapy Group of NYC for help, they’ll work with you to find the best fit for your teen.

2. Help them get into extracurricular activities

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Teens who have a substantial amount of free time and energy may not know what to do with themselves. As a result, they may turn to less desirable activities in order to fill this time. Rather than letting this be a potential development, be proactive and help your child find an extracurricular activity they can get into. For example, if your teen has expressed an interest in golf, sign them up for local organizations or their school team, help them get the necessary equipment by doing things like finding single length irons for sale, and getting them the training they need to truly enjoy their chosen activity. An extracurricular activity will provide them with the outlet they need to express themselves and get rid of some of their energy! Make sure they have the golf clubs they need to minimize strokes and maximize the fun they’ll be having as part of a team.

3. Maintain boundaries while allowing freedom.

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Setting limits is a part of parenting. As a parent, you are the head of the household, and there are rules and expectations that you should have and enforce. However, some parents may be overprotective, preventing their teen from gaining some of their own independence and moving into young adulthood. Make sure to give your child the freedom and the trust they have earned but don’t let them set the rules or push boundaries that are not okay.

4. Communicate with your teen.

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Maintaining your relationship with your teen is important. Even if they may not feel like doing it, most people grow up to realize that their relationship with their parents is what kept them grounded and helped them become the healthy, thriving adult that they are today. Schedule regular times to communicate with your child, learn more about their interests, and do things that you both enjoy doing. Though they won’t always admit it, they will enjoy this time as well.

5. Try to see their point of view.

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In our society, we are often taught to fear negative emotions. Although you shouldn’t tolerate disrespect and rudeness, healthy arguments and debates are to be expected as your teen grows up. Use these opportunities to help your teen figure out why they are angry, understand their side of things, and then let them utilize their problem-solving skills to either negotiate, empathize, or understand why their way of seeing or doing things may not be the best. Parents who shut down their children and prevent them from expressing their point of view may be doing harm than good. This kind of closed-door policy may cause them to do what they want, since they don’t feel that they’re being heard.

Adolescence can be hard, but it doesn’t have to result in bad behavior and revolt. If you are a parent looking to make sure that your child makes smart, healthy choices, use the parenting advice above to steer your teens in the right direction.
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Got a Bun in the Oven and Stressing Out? Here’s Your Month by Month Pregnancy to Do List

Heres-Your-Month-by-Month-Pregnancy-to-Do-ListMonth by Month Pregnancy to Do List

Got a bun in the oven and stressing out? We put together a month by month pregnancy to-do list to help make your pregnancy a little less stressful.

Finding out that you’re pregnant can be one of the most joyous discoveries of your life. But it can also be very stressful. There’s so much to do before your little one makes their debut!

If you’ve just found out that you’re pregnant and you’re wondering what you need to do during your pregnancy to prepare, we’ve got you covered! Here’s a month by month pregnancy to-do list to keep you on track. 

Month One/Two

Most women find out they’re pregnant between four and eight weeks into the pregnancy. This means that they’re in their second month of pregnancy before they even know they’ve got a bun in the oven.

You’re so early in your pregnancy, but there’s plenty on your to-do list already:

  • Start taking a prenatal vitamin if you haven’t already.
  • Choose an OB and schedule your first ultrasound.
  • Start cutting down on your caffeine intake. Caffeine fiends will be disappointed to hear that the American Pregnancy Association strongly suggests limiting your caffeine intake to 200mg per day for the duration of your pregnancy.
  • Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may need to cut out some medications that could be harmful to your baby. 
  • Start avoiding or eliminating foods that could negatively impact your baby like sushi, high mercury fish, lunch meats, raw eggs, and soft cheeses.
  • Maybe go to your first prenatal appointment. If your pregnancy is deemed high-risk for any reason you may have an early ultrasound scheduled for this first visit.

It might be hard to tackle these tasks due to the exhaustion that goes with early pregnancy, but the first few months of pregnancy are crucial. 

Month Three

Once you hit your third month of pregnancy, it’s sinking in that you’ve got a little one on the way. Morning sickness and other early pregnancy symptoms are hitting their peak. Don’t worry, they’ll pass soon.

Here’s what’s on the pregnancy to-do list this month:

  • Go to your first prenatal appointment and have your first ultrasound. Some doctors won’t schedule this appointment until week 9 or 10, which is when they’re sure to hear a heartbeat and get a good ultrasound photo of your little one. 
  • Dial-in your diet and exercise. You’ll want to eat nutritious foods and make sure to get at least 30 minutes of exercise four times a week to keep your body healthy and keep pregnancy weight gain under control. Be sure to talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet and before changing your exercise regimen. 
  • Shop for maternity clothes! You probably don’t have a baby bump quite yet, but due to bloating caused by an influx of hormones, you may already have trouble fitting into your pants. 
  • Start planning maternity leave. Review your company’s maternity leave policy. By the end of the month, you might be ready to tell your employer about your pregnancy and you’ll need to be prepared to discuss maternity leave. 
  • Discuss genetic testing. Your doctor will offer genetic testing that can screen for certain chromosomal abnormalities. Discuss with your doctor and partner whether you want these tests. 

Morning sickness and other pesky first trimester symptoms might be slowing you down a bit. But make sure you stay on track with your to-dos so you don’t fall behind.

Month Four

You’ve made it out of the first trimester! Your morning sickness should be starting to pass and you might be sporting an adorable little baby bump. 

Here’s your to-do list for the month:

  • Start sleeping on your side. Later on in your pregnancy, sleeping on your back could lead to decreased blood flow to your baby. So, get a head start and get used to sleeping on your side now.
  • Start telling family and friends. Many people opt to wait until they’re out of the first trimester to start telling family and friends. The chances of miscarriage drop after the first trimester. So, if you haven’t already shared the good news, month four is the time.
  • Start your baby registry. Your baby shower will be here before you know it, so sit down with your partner and start adding items to that registry.
  • Ask your doctor about how to reduce pregnancy swelling. Your body produces more blood and fluids during pregnancy, which leads to swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, hands, and face. As your uterus grows, it also puts more pressure on your lower trunk, causing more swelling. Your doctor may recommend wearing supportive garments, like supportive garments, like compression socks, adding more potassium-rich foods in your diet, and proper rest to alleviate swelling during pregnancy.  

The second trimester is the easiest part of pregnancy for most women, so tackling these to-dos should be a little easier for a few months.

Month Five

By now those nasty first trimester symptoms are a thing of the past. You may even be experiencing a burst of energy. 

Take advantage of it to tackle this month’s to-do list:

  • Sign up for a childbirth class. Although these classes aren’t necessary, they provide a lot of helpful information about the birthing process.
  • Go for your anatomy scan. Around 20 weeks your OB will schedule an anatomy ultrasound. This ultrasound will be longer than your previous ultrasounds because the doctors are making sure that everything is where it’s supposed to be, that your baby is healthy and that your baby is growing at the right pace. This is often when couples find out the sex of their baby as well.
  • Finish up projects around the house. In the second trimester, your energy levels are likely to peak, which means this is the time to get things done. Once you hit the third trimester you won’t want to do anything but rest, so get it all done now!

Though you might be feeling like you can take on the world right now, remember to pace yourself. That burst of energy can turn to fatigue if you overdo it. 

Month 6

That third trimester is fast approaching! You’re feeling more ready than ever to welcome your baby to the world. 

Capitalize on that excitement with the tasks on this month’s to-do list:

  • Finalize childcare options. It may seem like you have all the time in the world to get childcare figured out. But many childcare centers have waiting lists that are months long. So, you’ll need to figure that out before the baby is even here.
  • Get started on the nursery. Many women don’t want to do the physical work of setting up the nursery during the third trimester. If that’s you, then you’ll need to at least get started on decorating and furnishing baby’s nursery this month. 
  • Get tested for Gestational Diabetes. Some women develop diabetes during pregnancy. It’s easy to manage with dietary changes. Get tested this month to see if you need to make changes.
  • Arrange your Birth Plan and Preregistration. If you have specific desires for your birth experience, write them down so you can share them with your providers and the hospital. Also, preregister with the hospital so you don’t have to take care of that while you’re in labor.

As your second trimester comes to a close, make sure that you’re taking advantage of how good you’re feeling. These to-dos will get harder to manage in a few months.

Month 7

Welcome to the third trimester. Baby’s arrival is closer than you think, so make sure you handle this month’s to-do list in a timely fashion.

  • Prenatal appointments become more frequent in the trimester. You’ll be seeing your OB every two weeks until the last month of your pregnancy.
  • Finish up the nursery and baby proof the house. Baby won’t be mobile for a while, but you don’t want to have to deal with this once the baby is home.
  • Have an awesome time at your baby shower. Make sure to get lots of pictures.
  • Buy the essentials. Anything that you didn’t get at your baby shower should be purchased by the end of the month.

Some women feel great all the way through their third trimester. But for some, this is when they start to get really uncomfortable. As you take on these to-dos, be sure your planning plenty of time for rest.

Month 8

The countdown is on now! You should be settling down for some rest at this point, but there are still a few tasks on your to-do list for this month.

  • Pack your hospital bag. Hopefully, your little one won’t make their entrance early, but in case they do, your bag should be packed.
  • Have a maternity photoshoot. You might not feel like having your picture taken right now, but once the baby is here you’ll want the memories of what that bump looked like. Finding a maternity photographer is important since you want someone who specializes in this kind of photoshoot.
  • Pick a pediatrician. Do your research, meet with a few, and pick your favorite by the end of the month. They’ll drop in to check out your baby after birth.
  • Get tested for Group B Strep. If you test positive, you’ll need antibiotics during labor to protect your baby. But don’t worry. Baby’s not in danger if you have it. The antibiotics take care of that.

At this point, you might be having trouble sleeping. That can make keeping up with these to-dos difficult. But make sure you’re keeping on top of them since your baby is almost here.

Month 9

Once you hit week 37 of your pregnancy baby can safely come at any time. Because of this, you should take care of any last-minute to-dos in the first couple of weeks of month 9.

  • Make and freeze some meals. Cooking is the last thing you want to do when the baby gets here. So, set yourself up for success by making some easy to reheat meals and sticking them in the freezer.
  • Install your car seat. Your partner does not want to be stuck trying to figure this out in the hospital parking lot, so take care of it now.
  • Send thank-you notes for shower gifts. There won’t be any time for this with a newborn.
  • Try to relax. This will be difficult considering you’re uncomfortable and anxious about the baby’s impending arrival. But do your best to practice some relaxation and breathing techniques. These will be indispensable during labor. 

The last weeks of pregnancy are a time of both excitement and anxiety for most women. Take as much time as you need for yourself, and make sure you’re getting help from loved ones to handle these last few tasks. 

Conquering Your Pregnancy To-Do List

This looks like a lot. And that’s because it is! There’s a lot to do to prepare for your baby’s arrival. But lucky for you, you’ve got time. 

Follow this month by month pregnancy to-do list and you’ll be as prepared as you can be for your new little one.
For more information about preparing to meet your baby, check out the Parenting section of our website.
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Just for Teens: A Short Guide to Shopping

7-Tips-Just-For-Teens-Before-Shopping-and-Spending-MoneyAs a teenager, you’re just heading out into the world. Shopping may be something you’ve never really experienced before. If this is you, here are some useful tips on how to shop.

Bring Someone Along

A good friend or family member can help you stay safe in shopping malls, parking lots and other areas. After all, you can’t trust everyone you meet. Besides this, they may be able to give you smart advice on what to buy.

Spend Money Wisely

Try setting a budget so you can figure out how much money you can comfortably spend. Leaving the credit cards at home is a wise idea if you don’t want to spend more money than you have. Only bring cash so this is all you can use.

Create a List

Before you leave the house, make a list of the items you want to buy. This way, you won’t have to think about it when you’re shopping. For example, consider what’s right for you by wondering, “What kind of gifts would a teenage girl like?” You might want to do some internet research, so you’re sure what to purchase.

Visit a Store

You can visit your favorite stores or head to one you’ve never been to before. No matter what, make sure each place you visit is in a safe part of town. For your safety, have fun in an age-appropriate way.

Start Looking Around

Once you find a store you like, walk inside and begin looking at the stuff. You might need new shoes for gym practice, a winter coat or nail polish among other things. Then, you can walk to the product you might need or want.

Examine Products

Once you’ve found an item you might want, examine the details and ask yourself questions. For example, does this jacket fit my personality? If the gift goes against any values or beliefs you have, ask yourself if it’s worth buying.

Try Stuff On

If there’s a dressing room, you can pick clothes off the rack and try them on in here. Moreover, before you buy something, make sure it fits well, is age-appropriate and looks appealing. Further, feel the fabric to see if it’s itchy, and might be too rough for your skin. For shoes, try walking around in them for a while so you know whether they’ll be comfortable enough for your purposes.

Consider Asking for Help

If you feel comfortable asking a salesperson for help, then go ahead. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to strangers, you may want to judge for yourself. You can also wait until you arrive back home to research the internet for your answer.

Purchase Items You Want

It’s usually best to only buy an item if you’re entirely sure you want it. Consequently, you can splurge on something, but then you might end up wasting your own time returning it. Therefore, make wise spending decisions and make your life a lot easier.
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