Dealing with Bad Language

Hammer hitting nail on the head.When your child goes to school, his exposure to the outside world widens. By this age, he has also realized the existence of words so mean and powerful that grownups usually reserve them only for the really frustrating moments.

What to do about swearing?

Keep your cool: Remember that children are capable of goading you into angry reactions. By losing your temper, you play right into their hands. Instead, calmly and matter-of-factly remind them that certain words are off-limits.

Be specific: “Don’t ever use language like that!” doesn’t work as well as something more precise, such as: “We don’t use that word in this house.”

Invoke consequences: If your child persists after being warned, then apply disciplinary tactics, such as withdrawal of privileges. Whatever you do, be consistent. Don’t chuckle at your child’s quick tongue one day and punish him for it the next.

Suggest alternatives: Explain to your grade-schooler that instead of swearing when angry, he could punch a pillow.

Establish house rules about swearing and follow them yourself: Make sure you don’t use the words forbidden to your children.

Look for signs of trouble: An increase in foul language or cursing that no amount of guidance seems to curtail may be a cue that something is wrong. Your child could be carrying around excessive anger or might be upset about something that’s going on at school or in other areas of his life.

Five Successful Secrets of Travelling with a Child

Vol 3-Issue 2   5 Successfull secrets of travelling

If you’re a new parent, learning how to travel with a child, these tips can make the difference between a pleasant experience and an unpleasant one.

Be flexible

Keep your itinerary simple. Keeping too many activities can over stimulate your children. They get bored sightseeing for long periods of time and prefer being able to run around and explore at their own energetic pace.

Pick a family-friendly destination

Choose a relaxing child-friendly destination, such as a nature resort or beach, and skip the crowded, over-stimulating tourist destinations. Look for hotels that let kids stay free in their parents’ rooms and provide free meals within the price of the room.

Bring water and plenty of snacks

A bag of snacks and a water bottle are critical components of any trip. Children can get dehydrated during a flight, and toddlers can’t always wait for food service. Pack your child’s bag carefully with simple snacks such as fruits, small juice cartons or cookies. Pack extra diapers and clothes as well as toys to keep them entertained.

Plan frequent rest stops

If you’re driving, break up your trip, so your kids can stretch and run around to blow off some pent up energy. End your driving day early, so all of you have time to unwind after a long day on the road.

Think safety

If you’re taking a road trip, make sure your baby’s car seat is properly secured and use window shades to keep the sun off. Put a small card with identification information in your child’s pockets, just in case you get separated.

Special Alert!

“Travel teaches toleration,” said Disraeli. Especially nowadays, as our lives are greatly controlled by machines and their moods. Air travel, for instance, brings long queues of security checks at the airport, delayed or cancelled flights, and endless hours of commuting on the ground as well. Don’t be shocked to discover that the person sitting right next to you in the plane is allergic to kids. You may be greeted with frowns and cold stares every time your little one decides to brawl or toss everything around him.

Robert Benchley said: “There are two classes of travel – first class or with children” Traveling can be a test of nerves for those with young kids and a perfect, fool proof vacation in mind! Just remember, with kids nothing is fool proof. They can surprise you in seconds. Don’t forget that only one of you can throw a tantrum at a time, either the kids or the parents. Since the kids are at a greater risk of short circuits every now and then, it is highly recommended that parents behave themselves, so they may be able to mange their kids with sanity and patience, and enjoy their getaway. Bon voyage!

Cultivating Positive Child Behaviour

Vol 3-Issue  Cultivating Positive behaviourTime-out

If your child is acting up, the best way to remove him from what he is doing is giving him some quiet time alone. This technique, known as a ‘time-out,’ is an effective, nonviolent way to shape behaviour. But there are some keys to successful time-outs:

(1)   Understand what time-out is and isn’t

Time-out isn’t a punishment, but rather a time to allow the child some time alone to help him calm down, as well as teach him without setting negative examples, such as shouting.

(2)   Implement time-outs, when your child is ready

Because toddlers find it hard to sit still, time-out for a fixed time won’t work and can result in a chasing game. So first, try to distinguish between your toddler’s natural inquisitiveness and willful disobedience. Distraction can work better with toddlers.

(3)   Show and tell

Time-out works best for your child between ages two and three, especially, if it is explained ahead of time. Explain to him what it means. Some parents find it useful to act this out or to use a doll or teddy bear to demonstrate taking time-out.

(4)   Be flexible on the specifics

With a toddler, your goal is simply to introduce the idea of an enforced break in the action so a minute or two is enough. The period should be long enough to refocus his attention, but not so long that he gets frustrated. One option may be to have him sit long enough to say his ABC’s once or twice, then redirect him to a different activity.

Along the same lines, some schools have introduced the concept of the ‘thinking chair.’ When a child misbehaves, he is asked to discontinue all actions and quietly settle into this chair and think about his behavior. This helps him gather composure and dispel negative energy.

Teaching your toddler to share

“Mine!” your toddler shouts, as he grabs a toy from his playmate, and eventually, one squabble leads to another. Before you scream with exasperation, remember that most toddlers are not developmentally ready to share. Sharing is a learned activity and takes time. So what to do:

(1)   Practice taking turns

You flip one page of your toddler’s bedtime book, and he flips the next. Or take turns pushing a toy car down a ramp. Try also the give-and-take games. You hug his teddy bear and give it to him to hug and return to you. He’ll begin to learn that taking turns and sharing can be fun, and that giving up his things doesn’t mean he’ll never get them back.

(2)   Don’t punish stinginess

If you tell your two years old that he’s selfish, or discipline him, when he doesn’t share, you’ll encourage resentment, not generosity. Never punish a child, especially a toddler, for not sharing.

(3)   Cheer little steps towards sharing

Toddlers sometimes show their possessions and even let others touch them without actually letting go of them. Encourage this ‘proto-sharing’ by telling your toddler, how nice it is that he’s showing his toy. Eventually, bolstered by your praise, he’ll feel secure enough to loosen his grip.

(4)   Lead by example

The best way for your toddler to learn generosity is by witnessing it. So share your ice cream with him. Use the word share to describe what you’re doing. Let him see you give and take, compromise, and share with others.

Poison-proofing Your Home

Vol 2 -Issue 4 Poison-Proofing

Children explore the world by putting things in their mouths. That’s one of the reasons why more than 1 million children under the age of 6 are victims of accidental poisonings every year.

What are poisonous substances?

Some hazardous substances most commonly ingested by children are:

  • cosmetics and baby care products
  • cleaning products, such as detergent, bleach, drain openers
  • pain medicines such as paracetamol
  • prescription drugs
  • cough and cold medicines
  • vitamin supplements, especially iron pills
  • household plants
  • paint and varnish products
  • insect and mosquito sprays, mosquito mats
  • petrol, kerosene oil, acids, etc.

How to poison-proof your home?

  • Conduct a room-by-room inventory of non-food substances. This is to ensure poisons are clearly labeled and locked out of reach of children.
  • Lock up all medicines and harmful substances.
  • Secure all cupboards that contain poisons, even those that seem out of reach. Young children can reach them by climbing.
  • Don’t trust child-resistant containers.
  • No bottle top can be made so secure that a child can’t find some way to get it off.
  • Keep medicines, pesticides, even detergents in their original containers.
  • Never store poisonous or toxic products in containers that were once used for food. A child can mistakenly use them.
  • Never refer to any kind of medicine as candy.
  • Even if you’re trying to get a reluctant child to take cough syrup, don’t treat it as something good to eat. Children learn by imitation, so take your own medicine, when they aren’t watching.

In case your child has swallowed something bad, rush to the nearest emergency center as soon as possible. Don’t wait to confirm, if something happens or not!

Call for help (Karachi)

  • Aga Khan Hospital Stadium Road: 4930051
  • Aga Khan Clifton Medical Services: 9250051
  • Civil Hospital: 9215740-28
  • Edhi Ambulance: 115 / 2310066 / 2310077
  • Jinnah Hospital: 9201300-39
  • NICVD: 9201271-5

What to keep in the medicine cupboard

With a young child around, it’s important to have a well-stocked medicine cabinet or medicine bag, so you can quickly deal with the rashes, colds, and other common ailments that children are prone to, as well as handle the basics of daily care. Here are our must haves:

  • thermometer
  • children’s pain reliever (paracetamol or ibuprofen)
  • calamine lotion for insect bites or rashes
  • alcohol swabs to clean thermometers, tweezers and scissors
  • antibacterial ointment for cuts and scrapes
  • tweezers for taking out splinters and ticks
  • a pair of sharp scissors
  • a pair of safety scissors for clipping little nails
  • child-safe insect repellent
  • pediatrician-approved children’s-strength liquid decongestant
  • nasal aspirator bulb syringe for drawing mucus out of a stuffy nose
  • an assortment of adhesive bandage strips in various sizes and shapes
  • sterilized cotton balls
  • mild liquid soap (antibacterial and deodorant soaps may be too strong for children’s sensitive skin)
  • moisturizing cream
  • a medicine dropper, oral syringe for administering medicines
  • a heating pad
  • a hot-water bottle and ice pack
  • a small flashlight to check ears, nose, throat, and eyes
  • rehydration fluids, such as Pedialyte/ ORS

If your child is allergic to bee stings, peanuts, or shellfish, or if he has some other type of allergy, carry an epinephrine kit with you and keep another one in your first aid kit. (Discuss this with your doctor.)

Common Respiratory Ailments in Children

Vol 2 -Issue 3 Common Respiratory AilmentsPneumonia

Pneumonia is a general term for an infection of the lungs that may be caused by a number of different viruses and bacteria. The types of pneumonia you are likely to see in your baby include:

Viral pneumonia

In young children, respiratory synctial virus (RSV) and influenza virus are the most likely causes. Viral pneumonia typically starts like a cold and slowly, but steadily, gets worse. Your child may have a fever of 101.5° F or more, a worsening cough, and rapid breathing.

Bacterial pneumonia

With bacterial pneumonia, your child will have a sudden onset of symptoms – fever up to 103° F, rapid breathing and coughing. The child will not want to eat and will seem very ill.

How is pneumonia diagnosed?

Fever and cough are pneumonia’s main features along with a number of other symptoms; however, it is hard to tell, whether your baby has pneumonia. If your child has a cold that seems to get suddenly worse or does not get any better after about two weeks, call your pediatrician.

Since pneumonia is an infection of the lungs, your pediatrician will be listening to your child’s lungs for decreased breathing sounds or other abnormal sounds. Your child will be breathing rapidly in order to take in more oxygen, because some of the air sacs in the lungs are filled with fluid. The doctor might hear some wheezing, too. If your child has a severe case of pneumonia and gets admitted to the hospital, most likely an x-ray and blood tests will be done, in order to determine the cause of pneumonia and appropriate treatment.

How is pneumonia treated?

The treatment depends on the type of infection, the severity of the illness, and the age of the child. Viral pneumonia, like all other viral infections, does not respond to antibiotics, so treatment may be limited to rest and fluids. Some children require nebulizer treatment. Your doctor may also provide your child with supplemental oxygen through a tube or mask to make breathing easier. Dehydration from rapid breathing and fever is often a side effect of pneumonia, which is why taking in fluids is so important. A bacterial pneumonia will be treated with antibiotics, possibly by intravenous (IV) delivery.

How to prevent pneumonia?

There are a number of things that you can do to boost your child’s chances of staying healthy:

Keep up to date on vaccinations

The Hib, the Dtap, and the newly introduced vaccine (not available in Pakistan) help prevent pneumonia. In addition, if your child has a lung disease, such as asthma, talk to your pediatrician about getting the influenza vaccine every year, as a way of cutting down on the chances of catching the flu and having it develop into pneumonia.

Practice good personal hygiene

Wash your hands and your children’s hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs. In addition, do not let your children share cups and utensils and teach them to cover their mouth and nose, when they cough or sneeze, since pneumonia is transmitted through droplets in the air. Furthermore, make it part of your house-cleaning routine to wash regularly all the places germs are likely to hang out, such as the phone, toys, doorknobs, and the refrigerator handle – anywhere germy body parts might touch.

Create a smoke-free environment

Studies have shown that children, who live around cigarette smoke even for short periods, get sick more often and are more susceptible to illnesses such as pneumonia, upper respiratory infections, asthma, and ear infections. Children with asthma are at higher risk of developing pneumonia.

Onset of influenza season

Influenza, known as the ‘flu,’ is a respiratory illness spread through the droplets of coughs and sneezes that cause symptoms, such as fever, headache, extreme fatigue, and muscle aches.

What this means to you: children, who are at risk for complications from flu, include infants, children between 6 and 23 months, and children over two years, who have chronic medical conditions, such as chronic heart or lung disease, asthma, respiratory allergies, sickle cell anemia, diabetes mellitus, HIV, cystic fibrosis, and chronic renal disease. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC recommend that children with these chronic conditions receive yearly flu shots.

How to prevent asthma in your child?

There is nothing you can do for fully preventing your baby from getting asthma, if it is in the baby’s genes. You will not know your child is asthmatic, until the appearance of consistent symptoms, such as wheezing and coughing. However, if you and your spouse have allergies and asthma, then also your baby has a strong likelihood of having asthma. You may be able to delay its onset, until your baby is older (and the lungs are bigger and stronger), by doing the following:

  • Limit your baby’s exposure to dust mites by encasing the crib mattress in an impermeable cover, removing carpeting and plush toys from the room, using blinds instead of heavy fabric drapes, and washing the bedding once a week in hot water.
  • Keep the child away from passive smoking. Cigarette smoke is not considered an allergen, but it does irritate the lungs.
  • Avoid using a fireplace or wood stove. Although the warmth and coziness are inviting, the smoke may irritate your baby’s respiratory system.
  • If it is clear that your baby has developed an allergy to a pet, you will need to keep the pet away from the baby as much as possible.
  • Limit the child’s exposure to viruses by practicing good hygiene.
  • Delay giving your baby the foods that are likely to cause food allergies, such as eggs, nuts, shellfish, and cow’s milk.

Remember – prevention is better than cure!


Vol 2 -Issue 3 Breastfeeding

Are there any foods mothers should avoid while breastfeeding?

  1. Most babies are unaffected by the variety in mothers food, but if you feel your baby is fussy, after you eat a particular food, avoid that food. Some of such foods include: chocolate, spices, citrus fruits, the gassy veggies, and fruits with laxative effect (cherries, prunes, etc.).
  2. Too much caffeine can also affect baby’s sleep patterns. Also, if your baby has food allergy, he may be reacting to foods you eat. It’s usually something you have eaten between two and six hours prior to feeding. The most common culprits include cow milk products, soy wheat, egg, nuts, and corn.
  3. It is important to talk to your doctor, before you omit any foods from your diet, as it may cause a nutritional imbalance in your body.
  4. Cola drinks can dramatically reduce breast milk production in some mothers.

How much calcium do nursing moms need?

The calcium recommendation for nursing women is 1,000 milligrams (mg) per day. It is alright to get more than the recommended dietary requirement, as long as your total daily intake is less than 2,500 mg. Try to get your calcium through food, instead of a vitamin supplement – your body will absorb it more.

One eight-ounce glass of milk contains about 300 mg of calcium. You can also get approximately 300 mg of calcium from each of the following sources:

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) of yoghurt
  • 1 ½ cup (4 ounces) of ice cream or frozen yoghurt
  • 1 ½ ounces of natural cheese
  • 2 cups of cottage cheese
  • 1 cup of calcium-fortified (or fortified soy milk) milk
  • 2 slices of calcium-fortified bread
  • 5 oranges

How to tell if a breastfed baby is getting enough milk?

A woman’s own doubt about her milk supply is why most mothers stop breastfeeding within the first two weeks after birth. Even though you are giving enough milk to your baby, you may feel unsure.

Most newborns want to nurse eight to fifteen times a day, after the first three or four days of life. Feed your baby as often as he needs it. Some signs indicating that your baby is getting enough milk are:

  1. The baby nursing at least eight times in 24 hours for the first two to three weeks.
  2. Your breasts are being emptied and feel softer after nursing.
  3. Your baby has good colour and firm skin that bounces right back if pinched.
  4. Your baby is growing in both length and circumference.
  5. The baby wets at least eight diapers in a 24-hour period.
  6. You can hear her swallowing, while nursing.
  7. She’s passing yellowy-mustard stools or frequent dark stools.

Islam’s stance on breastfeeding

Quran states: “The mothers should suckle their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling.” (Al-Baqarah 2:233)

Dr. Ghulam Murtaza Malik, in his commentary ‘Noor alhuda’ explains that Allah (swt) has commanded Muslim women to nurse their children for the complete period of two years provided some health limitation prevents them to do so. There is medical evidence to believe that lactation also prevents women from developing breast cancer.

Besides mother’s milk is the best form of nutrition for a baby. Even formula milk manufacturers have to date not been able to produce an exact match. Mother’s milk is a miracle of Allah (swt) in itself.