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6 Ways To Relieve Your Stress From Handling Baby’s Constant Crying

6 Ways To Relieve Your Stress From Handling Baby’s Constant Crying

Let me start by saying that I can draw upon a wealth of extremely personal experiences in regard to dealing with babies crying. New parents go through something others simply cannot understand until they have a child of their own. What I’ve learned is that there are definitely things you can do to relieve any stress you have that’s caused by your newborn’s lack of social etiquette. After doing an extensive amount of research, here are some of the best solutions that I have discovered…

1. If you hear your baby crying, don’t freak out.

This one is pretty simple, but it’s something that most new parents fail to do. One of my friends told me a story about how they used to start pacing endlessly in front of their baby when he cried, due to being frazzled and unsure of what to do next. Why is that the wrong thing to do? Well, for one, babies pick up on your stress level, and react appropriately. It’s similar to the advice dog trainers give to you for when you’re confronted by an aggressive dog: “don’t show it fear, as it will sense that you are vulnerable.”

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So the best thing you can do in regard to baby-related stress is to calm yourself, as that will likely calm your baby. I know that’s easier said than done, so let’s discuss some of the techniques you can use to get yourself in the right frame of mind.

2. Control your breathing; meditate if you can.

By simply controlling your breathing (inhaling and exhaling in about five second intervals), you can control your heart rate, your blood pressure, and thus, your stress level. This will help you stay calm in an otherwise strenuous situation. Additionally, if you’re able to keep yourself level, there’s a chance that your baby will pick up on that and reciprocate.

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3. Give yourself some time off.

Babies aren’t as fragile as you think they are. As long as you take all of the necessary precautions, they should be fine most of the time. Part of the reason why a baby’s crying is so stressful is because parents think they’re crying for a reason, e.g. they are in pain or need attention. This puts the parents on a positive feedback loop where they’re constantly checking in on the baby and becoming more and more stressed and frantic as time goes on.

The truth of the matter is that, if you don’t notice any sudden drastic changes in your baby’s behavior, he or she is likely fine. You don’t have to be by your baby’s side 24/7….you can take thirty minutes a day to go on a walk and collect your thoughts, or do something else that tends to your personal needs (during this time you can have your partner check in on the baby).

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Remember, your baby feeds off of your emotional state, so taking a break benefits them just like it benefits you.

4. Remind yourself that your baby crying is not your fault.

The truth of the matter is that babies cry. A lot. And usually, there’s nothing you can really do about it besides staying cool and collected. Don’t blame yourself for your baby’s tears, as in most cases they’re completely unrelated to what you’re doing as a parent. Indeed, as research shows, many of the reasons for why babies cry are related to things that you can’t control most of the time. So, don’t beat yourself up about it!

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5. Maintain an active support network.

When the going gets tough, it’s nice to have people you can call upon, either for advice or for a simple chat that can bring you back down to earth. This network can include your parents, friends, co-workers, husband/wife, or anyone really who can be a voice of reason during this stressful time in your life.

6. Remember that it’s all worth it in the end.

Sure, your baby is a bit loud and fussy now, but in just a few short years they’ll be a walking, talking, full-fledged member of your family! I would say that the end result is worth a few stress-filled nights at the beginning. And, best of all, you can remind your kids when they’re older of just how much they cried as babies (which will certainly garner a few eye-rolls when they’re going through that tough-guy/gal phase).

Are there any parents here who would like to share their baby stories, particularly in regard to how you dealt with the stress related to your baby crying? If so, please share in the comments below!

Featured photo credit: Cry Baby/ TheGiantVermin via flic.kr

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Published on November 7, 2018

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

Figure Out the Laws

Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

Decide on an Approach

Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.

Supplies/Resources

Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.

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A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

Find a Community

Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

7 Different Homeschooling Methods

1. School-At-Home

Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

  • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
  • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
  • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

2. Classical

One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

3. Unit Studies

Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.

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For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

  • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
  • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
  • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

4. Charlotte Mason

This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

5. Montessori

Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

6. Unschooling

Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

7. Eclectic/Relaxed

As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.

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Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.

Email

Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

Google Drive/Calendar

Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.

Ebooks

Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:

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E-Courses

When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

Some recommendations:

Youtube

Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

Some recommendations:

Final Thoughts

Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via unsplash.com

Reference

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