Safety Tips for a Spooktacular Halloween

Halloween1

The night of Halloween is one of the best of the year for children, but for parents, trick-or-treat time can be a little troublesome. Parents know the drill—they want their children to have an enjoyable but not too spooky time trick-or-treating, all the while staying safe. But trick-or-treating can come with some risks, aside from the dental ones. According to the U.S. Census, there are about 41 million potential trick-or-treaters between the ages of 5 and 14 the night of Halloween. Parents should take precautions to make sure that their little vampires and princesses have a fantastic time.

Introducing your child to Halloween can be the start of a great tradition. But nothing can turn fun into fright faster than an accident. Follow these handy tips and your little Elsa, Batman, or Optimus Prime should be good to go!

  • Supervise your children- if your child thinks he/she is too will look “uncool” to have mom or dad tag along, you can always walk on the sidewalk of each house.
  • Teach kids to obey traffic signals and signs- as well as advising them to walk on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic (although kids should always stay on sidewalks when possible)
  • When choosing or making a costume, pick fire-resistant materials and bright colors.
  • Use reflective tape- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends fastening reflective tape to your children’s costume, especially if the costumes are dark-colored, so drivers will be able to see them.
  • Reconsider the mask. If your child wears one, make sure it doesn’t obstruct vision or breathing.
  • Before you let your child dig into that glorious mass of sugar he/she collected, carefully inspect all food and candy before letting your child eat it (when in doubt, throw it out).

Reference:

DiBenedetto, A. (2013). Trick or treat! Tips for Halloween safety. Retrieved from http://www.consumerreports.org.cro/news/2012/10/trick-or-treat-for-halloween-safety/index.htm

Harris, C. (2014). Halloween Safety Tips Every Parents Should Know. Retrieved from http://www.parents.com/holiday/halloween/safety/children-halloween-safety-checklist/

Written by: Nada Elhertani, Project Manager, Child and Family Learning Network

Better Balancing the Demands of Parenthood

Being a parent is challenging. But adding 40 hours a week to an already demanding schedule can seem almost impossible at times. When a full-time mom (or any parent, for that matter, but we’re just addressing moms for now…) clocks out of work, her day may seem like it’s just beginning. From toddlers melting down, to rides to baseball practice, to helping kids with homework, to housework and making dinner… she may wonder when there’s ever any “me” time?

A disclaimer. All moms (and dads too) struggle to find “me” time regardless of whether or not they fall in the SAHM (Stay-At-Home-Mom) category. So, rather than getting into a proverbial war of how to operationalize “working,” the focus of this particular post will be moms who are balancing paid employment with parenthood.

More moms than ever are in the workforce. According to AmericanProgress.org, women now make up half of all workers in the United States, with nearly 4 in 10 homes having a mom who is also a working mother. Being both a mother and an employee may present women with a battle between the roles of nurturer and professional. So, is there a healthy way to balance the two?  Quite simply, yes. 

The first thing to realize is that you’re human. And that means you can’t do it all. You will need to let go of some things (because there are only 24 hours in a day!). And no, sleep shouldn’t be one of the things you let go of! Your day will be a lot less stressful if you cut yourself some slack and focus on the things that matter most. Examine your obligations (and those of your family members) and realistically prioritize.

Just like planning meetings and appointments at work, it’s important organize and plan at home. Set a daily schedule to help things at home run more smoothly. If you have a co-parent, be sure to coordinate who is doing what, when. And don’t forget the kids as you delegate! As developmentally appropriate, children should also have assigned responsibilities that they are expected to do around the house.

Remember, parenting is about quality, not necessarily quantity! Make the free time you have with your kids count. Sometimes that may mean just talking with them about their day on the ride home from soccer practice. Do things as a family, and cherish those moments. Also, explain to your children why you work. Helping them better understand what you do at work, and how your job contributes to your family’s overall well being, will foster family cohesion.

We all know that parenting (for any parent) is the hardest job in the world! But it can also be the most rewarding. The days are long, but the years are quick. Find a balance that works for you, your career, and your family.

Reference:

Dillaway, H. & Pare, E. (2008) Locating mothers: How cultural debates about stay-at-               home versus working mothers define women and home. Journal of Family Issues,

Litsa (2014). Working Full-Time and Raising a Child? Here’s how to pull it off though! One Chic Mom. Retrieved from http://www.onechicmom.com/read.asp?nid=1616&article=Working%20FullTime%20AND%20Raising%20a%20Child?%20Here%C2%92s%20How%20to%20Pull%20it%20Through

Written by: Nada Elhertani, Project Manager, Child and Family Learning Network