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3 M's to Remember for 2015

Published in Parent

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Messiness

Being messy is okay. Get down and dirty with your kids when exploring and encouraging their creativity. Value the disorganization that lives between you. Take in those priceless moments and remember, you can always clean up- tomorrow!

 

 

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Mindfulness

Be present. Don't worry about the Facebook or Twitter hits. Don't upload another pic to instagram. Enjoy the moment- in the moment. Be present. Listen to your children and enjoy authentic conversation. In 2015, it's about brain power, so take care of yourself and your children by being there. Remember, your children will remember your presence, more than your presents.

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Matter

Never forget that you matter and are the expert on your children. No one knows your children better that you and no one can replace your role as parent. You matter and the world needs you to be you and do you to keep us all balanced and moving forward! Don't give up my friend, you matter.

 

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Bino and Fino, A Cartoon Celebrating Children's Diversity

Published in Uncategorized

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The face of children’s entertainment is changing with Bino and Fino, a ground-breaking cartoon which is now in its second season. By celebrating diversity, African parents and those of Caribbean and African descent are finally seeing the diverse cultural representation that they have been looking for with Bino and Fino.

Created by Adamu Waziri, a Nigerian animator, and produced by his Nigerian based animation company EVCL, Bino and Fino is an African educational cartoon about a brother and sister who live in a city in sub- Saharan Africa. In each episode Bino and Fino, with the help of their friend Zeena, the Magic Butterfly and their family, discover and learn things about the world. Aimed at children between the ages of 3 and 6 years, the series shows aspects of African history, culture and languages and educates children from all backgrounds.  According to Adamu there is a hunger for such programmes in an ever-growing multi-cultural society and parents feel let down by major international broadcasters.
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Adamu and his team have set about helping to change the status quo and with Bino and Fino, the first of its kind to come from Nigeria, and they are succeeding. The pilot episode of Bino and Fino was released in 2010 and has been well received internationally, with profiles on CNN and The Huffington Post.  A 24 minute TV feature of the show which is available on DVD has been broadcast on Television in the UK and South Africa, on YouTube and at festivals to a growing fan base of kids and parents from around the world.

The full second season is currently under production in Nigeria by EVCL and is set to be released at the end of 2014.

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Parent testimonials:
A mother had this to say. “Wow, you guys have made my Sunday. I am loving Bino and Fino, and Mr Adamu Waziri. I was just talking to my hubby and his sisters, and my cousins about the lack of black/African cartoons and positive educational stuff for the kids. Not to mention the lack of black characters on Disney. We need to put positive educational dolls, movies, shows for our kids because many do watch a lot of TV with mom and dad working.”

Another mother had this to say. “I am soo happy I found this. My daughter is such an outgoing young lady who loves to explore and missed the opportunity go visit Africa. Now she can get connected and find fun ways to connect. She, at 22, still dresses herself in garments and patterns that represent your fine heritage. God bless your efforts. I will enlist this as part of my classroom soon. Thanks”
 
A father had this to say. ‘Our daughter, 19 months old, just counted to 10 in Yoruba while watching Bino and Fino! ’

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Parenting Advice From Kids

Published in Family

Just for laughs... Jimmy's wife is having a baby soon. He has two older kids so it's been a long time since he took care of a baby. To brush up and get some advice on how to raise a child, he went right to the source and asked a child to help him figure some things out.
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How to Stop your 3 year-old “Why?” Trance

Published in Parent

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It’s important as parents to set some boundaries at each stage in our children’s lives, yet it’s also imperative for you to set up “parent blockers” so your three year old won’t drive you crazy.

We’re at that point where “WHY?” is making us want to grant the grandparents wish and let them keep him until he is a teenager… then they can give him back to us to handle the easy part…right…

No, seriously, all jokes aside.

This how our conversation goes most mornings… and needless to say, after three months of the same routine and same question, I truly understand the definition of insane i.e. doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Mom: “Morning my Sweetie, get up, get dressed, let’s go.”

Son: “Why? Where we going?”

Mom:  “We have to take you to school and mommy has to go to work.”

Son: “Why?”

Mom: “You have to go to school to learn and mommy and daddy goes to work to pay for your school.”

Son: “Why?”

This continues to go on a few more times until I realize that this is a battle that won’t be won by me constantly explaining or giving an answer. I need to put my “parent blockers” on; one to refrain from getting upset and doing the Homer Simpson Bart hold, and two to stay in control of the situation and show him that we need to stay focused on what was originally requested, complete that, and then we can chat it up later. Parent Blockers are a state of mind where no matter what your child asks or does that my push your buttons or literally enrage you, you stay calm, redirect the conversation or action to get your family moving forward and where you need them to be. Maybe that’s downstairs for dinner or in the car with seat belt on waiting for you to lock up the house. Sometimes you can’t answer every question. Sometimes you can’t stop to make everything make sense. Yet, you can take the time to stay grounded, cool, and pleasant. You want to show your child that you love talking to them and hearing their questions, yet you don’t want their requests to consume you, frustrate you, or make you harshly take it out on them. You have to be the leader and take control of the situation, especially if you’re on a time constraint, schedule, or strict plans. You can even say, “Hey, I’ll explain later, right now I need you to focus because we have to go. We’ll talk more in the car or afterschool when we have lots of free time.” Of course, some three year olds might not comprehend everything you are trying to say and even still ask “Why?” (Smile)… Yet just be patient and remember, you’re actually teaching them valuable life skills on how to follow directions, wait when it is appropriate to talk, and the beginnings of time management.

So how can you get him (or her) to snap out of it and get back your sanity? Snap in with "parent blockers". Remember that your children look to you for behavioral cues, mannerism, and language use. If you scream and yell every time they are not doing something right or immediately, they will mimic and follow your lead. Try not reverting to what feels comfortable for you or what they might expect and even change scenes if you have to. Literally, take them to a different room, sit with them, hug them and talk calmly to them. Practice this consistently and you’ll definitely notice a change in them and you!

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