Dimplee
LOG IN

Only Young Once

official blog of dimplee

Moms Helping Moms Foundation

Moms Helping Moms LOGO

Statement from the Founder of MOMS HELPING MOMS, Bridget Cutler

Moms Helping Moms started out as a simple idea by a group of new mothers who shared the common ideal that no baby should every have to go without life’s basic necessities. Our plan started simply – we would collect donations of essential baby items from families who no longer needed them, and pass them on to families who did.

Three years later, this simple idea has turned into a large network of passionate, caring mothers and fathers (as well as numerous volunteers and donors) who selflessly give their free time to help other families and their babies. Our mission is to help meet their babies’ basic needs by (1) providing access to essential baby supplies and (2) connecting them with a variety of support services during pregnancy and the first three years of parenthood. Through partnerships with community organizations, schools, local government and others we have collected and distributed thousands of diapers, clothing, formula, nursing supplies, and countless other baby essentials to hundreds of families in New Jersey.

In 2013 Moms Helping Moms Foundation Inc. was granted 501c3 status. We currently serve families mainly in northern New Jersey with hopes of expansion as additional resources become available. ​

To join MOMS HELPING MOMS, or for more information on donating or volunteering for a future drive, please visit our website.

http://www.momshelpingmomsfoundation.org/home.html

 

 

How to Keep Your Child Safe on the Internet

Girl on Computer

The Internet age can be a challenging one for parents, many of which did not grow up with the same sort of technological terrain their children are. With access to a wealth of information 24 hours a day, it’s easy for kids to stumble across inappropriate content and upsetting images if they are left to surf the Web unsupervised. While today’s busy lives are not conducive to constantly supervising a child on the Internet, there are ways to keep kids safe and smart when browsing the Net.

 
Basic Online Safety

Before your child ever uses the Internet independently, it’s essential ground rules are set. First and foremost, place the family computer in an area of the house with regular foot traffic. The kitchen is a great choice, as is the living room or a den. While it may seem odd at first to bring the computer out of the bedroom or office, it’s much easier to supervise a child and hold the entire family accountable when the only accessible computer is in a common area. You will know exactly what your child is doing online without having to nag or constantly check in. Limiting the amount of time spent online is also a good rule of thumb. Before allowing free access to the computer, define this time frame with your kids. Thirty minutes is a reasonable amount of time for younger children, while older kids can have their time extended to an hour or more. Some families make a rule that the computer is fine for games and social networking only after homework is done, or perhaps directly after school with all non-educational sites off limits after dinnertime. It’s important for children to engage with their families, and excessive time spent on social media may hinder this and lead to youngsters acting secretive and closed off to parents when it comes to computer usage. Have a common family password for all websites your children visit, including email, social network sites and the actual computer itself. This will remind your child you can check on their browser history at any time and compel them to stay on safe sites. Some families require kids to “friend” the parents on Facebook, although without password access, your child may simply filter posts or block you from certain photos displayed to the rest of their online world.

 
Social Media Safety

One of the biggest pulls for kids on the Internet is social networking. With the popularity of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more, it’s important children understand healthy boundaries when it comes to social networking. Do not allow your child to display a photo or full name. Unless they are old enough to legally have such a friend-focused site account or mature enough to remember not to speak to strangers (even virtual ones), it’s best their page stays as information-free as possible. As mentioned prior, “friending” your child on social networking sites is a great idea if you wish to get to know who your child is interacting with and monitor any content that may be deemed as risky or inappropriate. Finally, allow kids to friend only people you know personally. Family members, close friends and teachers are more than enough people for a child to add onto their social networking account.

 
Security Settings

Finally, always install proper security settings on your computer and smart phone. Use passwords where appropriate, Many programs are available to block kids from inappropriate content, and you never know when it just might save their life. Internet predators look for kids on unprotected, unsupervised computers, and while these instances are clearly very rare, they are still real. When it comes to the Internet, it is definitely better to be safe than sorry.

THE BENEFITS OF MUSIC FOR YOUR CHILD

Blog Image with piano arav (1 of 1)

Article written by Anna Seewald, MEd, MPsy

Music is powerful.  It touches everyone.  Music can bring tears to your eyes, uplift your spirit, inspire you, trigger memories, change your mood, make you move, forget your pain and relieve your stress.  Music can transform your inner world and your environment in seconds…To me music is more powerful than words.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” -Plato

It’s a unique language accessible and understood by everyone regardless of age, gender, culture, race, and ethnicity. Ever wonder what the world would be without music?

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Music is everywhere…Let your children discover sounds in nature.  It is documented that listening to music or playing an instrument helps children in many areas of development; language and math skills, memory, focusing and concentration, motor skills, social skills, cognitive skills and it can enhance their academic performance.  It affects many parts of the brain.  Of course, not everyone is going to be a child prodigy, but there are numerous benefits to music.  It is therapeutic and can affect health positively.

The important thing is to immerse your child in music from a very young age.  Studies show that even in vitro babies react to music.  Expose her to a variety of genres and styles. Let her develop her own taste in music and help her to create a music library of her own.

Music is a great connection tool.  It is a shared, creative experience.  It is a wonderful tool for self-expression.  Sometimes children don’t have the right vocabulary to express their feelings.  Music can be that bridge.  Through movement and music, children can overcome their fears and anxieties, heal their traumas, calm down and rest.  When I work with emotionally and behaviorally disturbed children, I often use music and dancing in my sessions.  Music is an unspoken language that speaks to everyone.  It can give children a glimpse of other cultures – teaching them tolerance and empathy.

Things parents can do:

-Sing to your child.  Sing together.  Make up silly songs or change the words of familiar songs.  Share your favorite songs with your child.  Sing lullabies.  You don’t have to have a perfect voice or know the the words.  It’s the bond that you create and the memories that matter.

-Dance together.

-Make musical instruments.  An empty coffee container can become a drum, a water bottle filled with rice is a cute maraca.  I have this warm memory of my brother and me making music with pots and pans…Possibilities are endless.

-Listen to music and ask your child to draw or paint her emotions evoked by music.

-Invite them to think about music, about the intent of the composer, etc.  Ask them questions: “Is this a happy melody?”, “When you hear this music what do you imagine?” or “How does this music make you feel?”.

-Organize a fancy candlelight dinner with classical music for your child.

-All children respond to and love music.  But some do express deep interest from an early age.  Nurture your child’s gift.

-Bring them to concerts.  Sometimes orchestras have an instrument-petting-zoo.  It could be a great opportunity for your youngster to learn about various instruments.  There is nothing like a live concert.

-Listen to CD’s and expose them to a variety of styles and genres.

-Enroll them in singing/dancing/art classes.  It could be so enriching!  Make music a big part of your child’s life.  Music can do wonders!

AUTHOR BIO: Anna Seewald, MEd, MPsy is the founder of Authentic ParentingTM that specializes in parent education and parenting consulting.  She works with parents of young children-providing parenting classes, workshops and individual consultations worldwide.  To learn about her unique approach and information visit her web site www.authenticparenting.com.

 

 

Manners and Social Etiquette for Kids

BLOG Image of Chidren Spelling Thank YOU - iStock_000006321762XSmall
We live in a casual culture that can sometimes make manners easy to forget. Raise your kids up right by teaching a combination of both classic and modern etiquette that will help them successfully glide through any social situation.

 

Visiting Homes of Friends and Family

Playdates, holidays and school tutoring – just a few examples of times your child may be visiting someone else’s house. You can easily teach manners to your child while on outings by giving them some small responsibilities. First, allow them to ring the doorbell or knock on the door. Kids love to do this and never seem to grow tired of it, but they can also be excessive and/or aggressive in their approach. Limit kids to one ring of the doorbell or two knocks. This will help them learn to not only calm themselves before greeting the resident, but also how to be patient as they wait for the door to open.

Once the door is opened, encourage your child to wait to be invited in. This is a dying art when it comes to home visits. We are all too comfortable with friends and family to wait for such an invitation. Instead, we tend to walk on through, and this can cause children to cease to acknowledge the adult who opened the door to allow access to their playmate. Remind kids to greet the parent who answers before running on to the family member they came to see. This is also a great time to teach children how to properly address elders. Take it back with “Mr.”, “Mrs.”, “sir” and “ma’am.” Not only will your child be properly addressing grownups, they will be irresistibly charming to boot!

 

At the Dinner Table

Both at home and at meals with friends and relatives, children can show off their great manners during dinner time. Teach children to allow adults to be served first, although this often counterintuitive in our culture where many restaurants will bring the children’s meals out before the adult entrees. Even during casual meals at home, children should wait for everyone to be served before they begin eating. When passing things across the table, encourage pleases and thank yous. Discourage silent reaching across the table by asking your child to pass you something as an example of how it should be done.

 

Being Thankful

Kids in our country rarely want for much – many families are blessed enough to purchase their children items during any time of year, and we live a very comfortable existence. This can, unfortunately, reduce a sense of true gratitude in the lives of some children. For this reason, it’s important to remind your child to be thankful for what is given to them, be it a birthday gift or special meal at a friend’s house.
Handwritten thank you notes are still the best way to express gratitude. While a bit old school, they allow your child an adequate chunk of time to reflect upon what they are writing and to properly practice thankfulness. Leaving a phone message or shooting off an email does not have the same personable feel of gratefulness as a handwritten note sent via traditional mail.

 

These are just a few of the ideas out there when it comes to teaching youngsters proper manners. There are many etiquette books written especially for children so consider picking one of these up and practicing some role playing with your child before heading out to that next event or party.

Do you have any suggestions to share concerning social etiquette for kids?

 

Fun and Educational Websites for Kids

BLOG Image of Mother and Daughter Looking at Computer - iStock_000009603891XSmall

With the Internet consuming so much of our lives these days, it’s important to be safe with what our children view online. While we used to be concerned about television programming, today’s parents are acutely aware of how easy it is for children to wander to an inappropriate website, download something expensive or containing adult content on a smart phone and more. Fortunately, there are many websites that are not only safe for kids, but are both fun and educational at the same time.

When your children want to play on the computer, there are obviously the “big names” when it comes to Internet fun. All of their favorites are represented online – Disney, Nickelodeon, PBS, etc. All of these children’s programming gurus have both elementary aged and preschool aged divisions to their websites, making it accessible, fun and educational for children. However there are many smaller sites out there that may teach your children even more while engaging their imaginations in new ways.

Wonderopolis

The tag line on the Wonderopolis website is “Where the Wonders of Learning Never Cease,” and this is the perfect way to describe this educational site filled with animal and nature facts kids will love. Check out their daily “Wonder of the Day” fact filled with photos, information and a chance to test your own knowledge of the daily subject. Think of this website as a flashy encyclopedia where kids can explore the world around them without ever having to leave the house.

Fun Brain

Fun Brain is a simple website that is welcoming to children of all ages. Featuring arcade-style games, kids can read stories, hone their math skills or play games that are just plain fun and silly. The reading center is one of their focal points, featuring web versions of many popular kids books. The math section is also strong, featuring games and activities categorized by grade (K-8th).

Whyville

Initially, Whyville was coined by the media as a Facebook for tweens. While this is somewhat true, it has grown to be so much more with over 100 games and activities for kids aged 8-13 to enjoy. Interact and socialize with other tweens, or involve parents and teachers on this website. This is a great way to engage your tween in a game of checkers or something more academic – a great excuse to bond with a child who may be growing distant as adolescence approaches. You must register to use the content on this site, but an account is free and Whyville is a great introductory site to the world of social media.

National Geographic Kids & Little Kids

Parents will likely remember those familiar yellow-rimmed magazines filled to the brim with educational articles about the world around us. Now kids can dive into their online version with a lot less brain power. National Geographic Kids focuses on easier to digest concepts, a whole lot of animal facts and more. Young children (aged 3-6) will enjoy National Geographic Little Kids – an even more simplified yet still interactive version.

These are just a few of the great educational websites geared toward children. It is important with any children’s website that you or another adult remain present with the child at all times. The Internet is a new terrain for children and it’s easy for little fingers to wander to a non-child friendly site. It’s also a great experience for the child when mom or dad stays engaged and plays right along with them while they learn new things online.

What are some of your favorite sites for kids?

Five Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in School

BLOG Photo of Girl Studying - iStock_000004025392XSmall

From the first day of Kindergarten to high school graduation, children depend upon their parents to help make their academic years a success. There are five simple ways to help your child succeed in school and yet many families do not utilize them. Packed calendars and multimedia bombardment makes it difficult to maintain regular habits, especially for multiple children. However, supporting your children in school is one of the best things you can do for them.

1. Turn Off the TV

Countless studies have been done on the adverse effects of television, and the news is rarely good. While it may be very tempting to turn on the TV in order to get some extra sleep, your young early risers will be placed at a distinct disadvantage. Young grade schoolers tend to struggle with concentration in the classroom more than their peers who do not watch TV first thing in the morning. They also tend to rush through their work, leave things incomplete and may be more irritable. One study suggests that middle schoolers who watch rated R movies – especially boys – struggle more in school than their more closely sheltered peers. Even for those who do not watch TV before class, extended viewing in the evenings can be damaging as well. This leaves less time for homework, face-to-face interaction with family members and the important lesson of prioritizing tasks in life. While it is not bad to watch TV in small amounts, excessive viewing – especially at crucial times like before school or bedtime – can decrease your child’s academic performance. So keep the TV off and enjoy working together on crafts, schoolwork or board games.

2. Get Involved

With the dawn of charter schools, many parents are getting more involved in the classroom than ever before. Gone are the days where kids are dropped off in the morning and picked up again in the afternoon without parents knowing how the day went. At most schools, parents are either informed through Internet programs that allow them to check grades and classroom updates, or are spending a set number of hours volunteering in the classroom. While full time working parents won’t be able to be hands on in the classroom, consider getting involved in an evening event like a talent show or fall festival, and keep the lines of communication open with your child’s teacher. When a child starts school, it is often a parent’s first impulse to not become part of that world for the sake of the developing student. However to the contrary, not only do children do better in school when parents are actively involved, they love to feel your support and love in the classroom just because you’re you.

3. Provide a Great Homework Environment

Providing your children with adequate space to complete their homework will help them to succeed in school. A messy coffee table or on the couch are not ideal places for learning. Instead, set up a mini office for your child in a playroom, in the kitchen or in their bedroom. Include a desk, lamp, school supplies separate from those they bring to school and Internet access if appropriate.

4. Read and Ask Questions

Simply reading to your children when they are young tends to improve their language arts skills in the classroom. Not only is it an enjoyable bonding time for both parent and child, you are also enriching the student’s vocabulary and pronunciation. When they are older and able to read to you, encourage them to do so. Regardless of who’s reading, be sure to pause periodically and ask questions. Comprehension is just as important as impressive diction, and it will greatly enhance your child’s ability to learn and understand in the classroom.

5. Stay Organized

Moms, we know it’s not easy. With so much on your plate and so few hours in the day, it’s easy to take a load off once the kids are in bed and put off the housework for another day. Being a good example is the best way to teach your child how to stay organized and on top of things that may be overwhelming like school and extracurricular activities. Take a weekend to get your house organized, post a calendar in the kitchen and make a great effort to provide your child with a calm, put-together environment. You’ll see a difference in both their schoolwork and personality. These are just five of many ways to help your child progress successfully through the school years.

What do you currently do at home to help your student reach his potential?

4 Easy Steps to Caring for Knocked-Out Teeth

BLOG Image of Child Smile with Missing Teeth - iStock_000013734312XSmall

Losing teeth is a natural part of growing up; it is when the permanent ones fall out that it’s a problem! When kids participate in sports and other physical activities, accidents happen, and teeth sometimes get knocked out. Though it can be a terrifying experience for any mother, the important thing to remember is to stay calm. By remaining calm and taking quick action, the tooth can be saved.

  • Permanent or Baby?

The first thing to do in this situation is determine whether the tooth is a baby tooth or permanent one. If it is a baby one, there’s no need to worry because a new tooth will grow back in its place. If the tooth is permanent make sure to retrieve it and call your dentist as soon as possible. It is best to consult a pediatric dentist if your child is under the age of 13.

  • Tooth Recovery

When you recover the tooth, it is important to remember to handle it by its crown. Tampering with the roots will increase the chance of the tooth not being able to be replaced. Even if there is dirt on the tooth, it is best to let your dentist handle the cleaning. Using alcohol or peroxide to sanitize it can be harmful, and may result in your child’s tooth being unable to be re-used.

  • Move Quick. Stay Calm. Get Milk.

When a tooth falls out, there is a limited amount of time to replace it before it becomes unusable. There is usually about a thirty minute window from the time the tooth comes out to get it put back in. This is why it is necessary to inform your dentist of the situation immediately and go in at the first available appointment. In order to prolong the life of the tooth, place it in a glass of milk. Because of its similar chemical properties to teeth, milk can help preserve it long enough for you to make it to your dentist’s office. Ice the gum If there is bleeding, be sure to apply some form of gauze to control the flow. A cold compress can also help in reducing pain and swelling. Remember, the important thing in this situation is time. Getting to your dentist in a timely manner is the best chance you have of saving the tooth.

There are many ways you can prevent children from losing their permanent teeth. Making sure your children wear mouth guards when playing sports will help keep their smiles safe. Even if they do lose a tooth, however, remember that it’s not the end of the world. As long as you move swiftly and follow the proper procedures, you will have a great chance at saving their tooth!

This article was written exclusively for dimplee.com by Bennett Family Dentistry, a team of dental professionals offering general and children’s dentistry services.

Keeping Kids Active: Benefitting Body and Mind

iStock - Dimplee Blog Image_000016888727Small

 

Keeping Kids Active: Benefitting Body and Mind

Physical activity is important for all of us, regardless of age or demographic. However for children in particular, regular exercise is essential for healthy growth and development. With childhood obesity continually an issue in the United States, destinations ranging from elementary schools to private fitness gyms are promoting a fit lifestyle for kids of all ages. Exercise is important for children for many reasons, including:

  • Burning calories instead of storing them as body fat
  • Keeping blood sugar levels balanced
  • Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Developing strong bones and muscle
  • Building strength
  • Improving mental and emotional health
  • Boosting self-esteem

 
When calories are burned through active play, it greatly reduces the child’s risk of becoming overweight in adulthood. Also reducing diabetes risk, physical activity can help children feel confident about their appearance and provide them with proper levels of mental focus and endurance to thrive in school, sports teams and beyond.

How Much Should Children Exercise?

Children above the age of 2 require at least an hour of physical activity daily. Unfortunately, current physical fitness “hours” in schools rarely last for that long, and of course aren’t in effect on weekends or holidays. True responsibility for a fit lifestyle rests in the hands of parents, who should encourage their children to be active for at least 60 minutes. This does not need to be done in one dose – break it up throughout the day with a morning walk, an afternoon swim or any other moving activity your child enjoys.

How to Get Going

Since youngsters learn by example, one of the best ways to motivate your child to become physically fit is by living a healthy lifestyle yourself. Offer to exercise alongside your kids. This can be done in many forms including:

  • Joining a family-friendly gym. Many offer special programs for kids.
  • Signing up for a class together at your local recreation center.
  • Carving out a regularly scheduled time to go to the park and play.
  • Finding a new hiking or cycling spot close to home.
  • Purchasing groceries at a local farmer’s market, walking the booths and learning about healthy eating.
  • Turning off the TV.

 
Getting Back to Basics

Technology has caused a great detriment to our children’s health and fitness. The average 8-18 year old spends approximately six hours per day in front of the television, computer and video game console. More children than ever before have TVs in the room, often falling asleep to the white noise of streaming programming. This compromises the quality of rest an individual receives, which can lead to growth and development issues. Limiting technology time at home is a powerful way to encourage physical activity and healthy interaction with each other.

Exercising Creativity

Parents who work full-time or feel they have too many other responsibilities to fit in regular outings can still get creative with physical fitness at home. Consider writing an email to your child’s school principal suggesting new activity options for the classroom or during after school hours. Or, encourage fitness around the house.

Children can log some activity time by completing chores. Wiping down counters and sinks, folding laundry and putting toys away are all great ways to keep the house clean while staying active at the same time. Walking to school, the grocery store or other nearby destinations is another possibility. While it may take a bit more time, it’s an ideal way to exercise while reaching essential destinations. Finally, consider giving the gift of physical fitness during the holidays and on birthdays. Hula hoops, physically interactive video games, jump ropes, trampolines, backyard water slides and t-ball are all examples of gifts that keep kids active and stimulated.