Motherhood

Here’s Your Back to School Checklist for Caregivers

As a child raises his hand in class, he's glad his caregiver had a back to school checklist for all his needs.

Contributed by Haley Burress 

August and September bring new notebooks, sharpened pencils, a few jitters, and lots of excitement for the new school year. With the lazy days of summer behind you, it can sometimes feel overwhelming to get back on a daily schedule, especially if you are caring for a loved one or child with significant medical needs. The Lotsa Helping Hands Back to School Checklist will keep you on your toes and confident as your family eases into your new routine.

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Fun Activities To Try When Working with Disabled Children

Two children play with leaves, which is a fun way to be working with disabled children.

Contributed by Nora Stasio

The word, “disabled,” can mean so many different things to different people. Some kids are burdened with a physical impairment; others have a mental handicap, which causes them to develop more slowly when compared to children without disabilities. Kids are kids, though, and they love to play. Whether you’re a caregiver, teacher, or parent of a disabled child, you’ve surely wanted to engage with that child in a fun way that takes into consideration his or her special needs.

Here are 3 suggestions that can help you make the most of your playtime together when working with disabled children.

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5 Things New Parents Need to Know about Child Care

A mother leans over to kiss her child, just like new parents do with their babies.

Contributed by Michelle Hassler

Becoming new parents is an overwhelming endeavor. However, after becoming a mom myself, I found that there is no better resource than fellow parents who have been in your shoes. In order to compile some “need to know” information for first-time parents, I asked my version of “experts” – moms and dads who are currently in the trenches, whether they are raising babies or teenagers. Interestingly, almost all of their responses expressed a similar sentiment: there is no right answer. New parents will find out that being a parent is a unique learning experience filled with ups, downs, smiles, tears, and (hopefully) lots of laughter.  


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How to Find Help for Single Moms

A mother and daughter walk alone and try to find find help for single moms.

Contributed by Michelle Hassler

For many women, motherhood is an adventure – an adventure that is joyful, selfless, and life-altering. However, the journey of motherhood comes with ups and downs, sleepless nights, unforeseen expenses, and stinging self-doubt. Everyone needs some kind of support along the way. One minute, the road might be smooth and flat, but there could be a huge dip or sharp curve around the corner. Are you a single mom who is overwhelmed and would benefit from some support? Do you know a single mom who is struggling to accomplish daily tasks, needs financial help, or simply could use a friend to lean on? Below are some ways that you can find help for single moms.


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Parents Helping Parents: Using a Care Calendar for the Classroom

Sometimes you have to look to the classroom to find parents helping parents.

Contributed by Haley Burress

It really does take a village to raise a child. Hopefully you have a village full of grandparents, aunts, uncles, best friends, and neighbors that are available to help you out with parenting advice and assistance. Unfortunately, a health crisis can cause you to seek out a village to help fill in for your role as chauffeur to extracurricular activities, head chef in the kitchen, homework helper extraordinaire, and the many other roles that you take on when you become a Mom or Dad. Sometimes you simply need to rely on parents helping parents and ask for help in a somewhat unlikely place: your child’s classroom.

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5 Different Ways to Say Thank You on Mother’s Day

As a mother and daughter take a walk together, the daughter contemplates all the different ways to say thank you to her mother for all she's done.

Contributed by Tiffany Silverberg

How do you express your gratitude on Mother’s Day? There are so many things moms do for us – from care and nurture in childhood to friendship and advice in adulthood. Some things we don’t even notice or care about until we become moms ourselves and realize just how much moms do every day for us. Just as there are different moms and different things she does for her kids, so there are different ways to say Thank You. This Mother’s Day, choose one that suits your abilities and her interests to make her smile and let her know just how thankful you are.

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How to Help Kids Learn to Take Care of Themselves

As a young boy does hop scotch by himself, we realize that kids are morning capable of doing things on their own. Here are ways to help kids learn to take care of themselves.

Contributed by Christine Binney
One of the most important lessons that parents can teach their children is how to take care of themselves. Children need to learn to be self-sufficient, responsible and confident so that you can let them independently explore their worlds while staying safe. While it is tempting to want to do everything for your children, but you are doing them a disservice if you don’t prepare them to be self-reliant. Here are some great ways that you can help kids learn to take care of themselves.

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5 Creative Activities for Autistic Children

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Contributed by Dawn Allcot

All children love crafts and activities. Autistic children may need extra encouragement to play but once they get started on these creative activities, they will love the sensory stimulation, different colors, and the ability to see how they are affecting the materials. Taking part in these activities with an autistic child will also strengthen the bond between you and the child while encouraging social interaction and interaction with the child’s environment.

 

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5 Gift Ideas for New Moms

A pair of baby shoes is one of many gift ideas for new moms.

Contributed by Haley Burress

Ah, newborns. They smell so good, love snuggling, and give everyone a feeling of nostalgia and new beginnings. Newborns are pretty awesome, but let’s not forget that with a newborn comes two very frazzled, very nervous, very sleep deprived parents. These moms and dads need a lot more than an unannounced visit and a few new onesies. Help the parents of the newborn in your life feel appreciated and loved with a few of our gift ideas for new moms. We know that everyone is unique and different, but one thing rings true for all moms across the world – we want to feel like we aren’t in this alone. Before you plan your visit to your friend, neighbor, or sister-in-law who is a new mom, consider tucking in a few of our ideas into a gift bag to leave on her kitchen counter.

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Creative Activities for Kids that Benefit the Community

A woman contemplating how to battle depression after an injury.

Contributed by Michelle Hassler

“I’m bored.” How many times have those bright and adventurous little ones in your life uttered these two words? Finding activities that are engaging, yet promote learning and social growth are sometimes hard to find. Tapping into a child’s individual interests can help to keep kids on a positive track and create opportunities for learning and self-expression. If a child or adolescent is engaged in what they are doing, they will be invested in the task or project and ultimately put forth their best effort. Now, lending this effort towards the greater good can be a very powerful thing. Below are some creative activities for kids that benefit local communities.

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