Posted in Parenting

Signs of Stress and Anxiety in Children

This is a Guest Post Written by Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD  |   Originally published on May 28, 2021

Stress is a phenomenon that is different or somewhat the same for each child/or adult. We are to some degree conditioned to believe that stress is bad and that there is a solution in a product–Calgon bath salts or a pill. Of course, we need to attend to issues that cause us to feel apprehensive or frightened before or after an experience. However, it is better to talk about the experience before or after to understand the needs of the child or adult.


More importantly, I highly recommend avoiding assuming that all stress is bad or that the stress will continue. Yes, something might be a challenge, but stress isn’t inherent.

Parents who are cautious might unwittingly instill their own fear into a child’s psyche. It is also important to avoid projecting one’s fear into the child’s experience. Avoid using the words stress or anxious (anxiety). Ask the child how they feel without putting a label on it. And assist the child to problem-solve before and after a new experience.

Children may not exhibit stress in the same way as adults. For example, they may display anger or irritability in addition to fear and worry.

It’s understandable that parents would worry about their child’s experiences, but it’s important to know that some childhood stress is common, and with patience, compassion, and communication it can be resolved quickly. Some children take longer to process their feelings. If a child seems to be struggling for longer than a few months you might need to engage with a practitioner who specializes in holistic mental health protocols.

Let’s talk about Common Childhood Worries
There are a number of things that commonly cause worry and discomfort for children of different ages. New situations, challenging tasks, and even unfamiliar people can lead to apprehension and discomfort in children occasionally.

Other age-appropriate fears include:

  • Fear of Strangers beginning at 7 to 9 months of age and resolving around age three.
  • Fear of the dark, monsters, insects, and animals in preschoolers
  • Fear of heights or storms in younger school-age children
  • Worry about school and friends in older school-age children and teens

These childhood common fears typically disappear on their own as a child grows older.

Signs and Symptoms of Discomfort in Children

Although it is common to have occasional discomfort. Children displaying discomfort symptoms may behave with:

  • Anger or aggression, such as yelling, screaming, hitting, tantrum
  • Avoiding certain situations
  • Bedwetting
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Getting in trouble at school
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Nervous habits such as nail-biting, hair pulling
  • Nightmares
  • Refusing to go to school
  • Restlessness
  • Uncooperative
  • Social withdrawal
  • Stomach aches
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping

The frequency and appearance of stress can vary depending on the nature of the situation. Some fears may be triggered by specific situations, objects, or settings.

Other indicators of concern include symptoms that interfere with a child’s ability to learn, interact with peers, sleep at night, or function normally in daily life. Such as:

  • Sickness or death of a family member or friend
  • Birth of a sibling
  • Divorce
  • Community factors
  • Being in a car crash, home fire, or other physical mishaps

Common childhood fears that persist beyond the age where they are expected to be afraid (such as being afraid of the dark or being away from parents past the preschool age) are also a point of concern.


And I will close with a little story. When my son was 16 and in his junior year in high school, he asked,

“Mom, why do kids freak out when there is a test?

Me: I don’t know. Everybody is different. What do you think about tests?

Son: I like tests.

Me: What do you like about them?

Son: Because then I know what I know and what I don’t know. Then I can learn what I don’t know.

Me: How did you decide that?

Son: Mom!! (incredulous tone of voice) You said there is nothing to worry about and everything has a solution.

There is proof in the pudding. Preparing children in a non- worrisome tone of voice or mindset is powerful and empowering.

Every moment is a teaching moment use it well.

About the Guest Author – Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, Ph.D.

Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, Ph.D., Metaphysician, Certified Hypnosis Practitioner and International Best Selling Author is a recognized authority on bridging Science and Human Potential. Dr. Dorothy provides comprehensive protocols to discover and transform the root cause of issues and diagnoses. Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Transformation combines creating health while transforming past mental, emotional, and physical distress. 

Article Source:,_PhD/5195

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Posted in Parenting

How to find a preschool in your area?


Finding a daycare center to send your little one can be challenging for many reasons. Fear of mistreatment, price, education standards, and separation anxiety. The information on this page will guide parents in their research process to finding the perfect preschool for their baby or toddler.

5 Steps to finding a GREAT preschool in your area!

  1. To find a preschool in your area start with an online search. Use google, yahoo, or bing. Search preschools near (type in your town or zip code).
  2. Once you find preschools that are close to you. Look at their reviews and prices.
  3. Determine if you are willing or able to pay the monthly price (preschools are expensive). Some government agencies may provide discounts for preschool education. If your family brings in a low yearly income, please look into FREE or discounted preschool education. To qualify, you must financially qualify and be excepted to a preschool that uses this discount.
  4. If you know anyone in your area that has a preschool-aged child ask them where the kid is enrolled and how much it cost. Let them know you are looking for a great preschool to enroll your child in. Parents are very honest about this topic, so they will tell you if they dislike where their child attends preschool and if they are looking to enroll somewhere else.
  5. Send an email or make a phone call to the preschools that have good reviews. By all means, shop around. Ask if they give tours, speak with the center director, and/or observe a preschool teacher.

Make a decision based on your thorough research.


How do I find a credible local daycare?

preschool yard

Just like a hotel or restaurant, childcare centers receive ratings based on their health, safety, customer care, and education quality. Looking at business reviews on FaceBook, Google, or Yelp will help you get a better understanding of the quality of the childcare centers in your neighborhood.

If you live in the United States you can visit to learn about Childcare Quality ratings. You will be able to select your state and view local childcare centers licensing and reports. These reports are very detailed and will describe any major incidents, reports of abuse, sanitation, or safety risk at a childcare center.

What is a good price for preschool?

The cost of childcare in the United States ranges from $4,460 to $13,158 per year ($372 to $1,100 monthly), according to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA). Infant childcare cost more than childcare for a toddler or pre-kindergarten-aged child. The same childcare center will often charge $200 to $500 more for infant care than for toddler care. This is because infants will often be cared for in smaller class sizes and have more care needs. If you live in the US you can use to find your state’s average childcare cost. You can even adjust the needs you want to be meant in a classroom and the average price will adjust to your wants. allows you to adjust the number of students in the class, classroom size, teacher salary, and materials available. The Cost of Childcare website is sponsored by the Center of American Progress, we are not affiliated with them in anyway but do believe this is a wonderful resource for parents. The goal of the website is to show how costly childcare can be and get citizens to advocate for government-sponsored childcare in the US.


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Posted in Parenting

Tired of Toddler Tantrums? Use the Brain to Stop Temper Tantrums!

This is a Guest Post Written by Felice Martin  |   Originally posted on August 27, 2018

Let’s be real. Dealing with a tantrum in the middle of the grocery is never easy. Remember the last time your child had a temper tantrum. Was your stress level high? Did you feel helpless?

Most parents I talk to agree that these anger explosions happen mainly when a child is told “NO.” So, what’s a parent to do? I’ve found that adults respond out of anger and guilt. Parents also, struggle to manage the voice of guilt which makes them feel like a “failure” and helpless.

Toddler girl crying

Here are five brain-based tools that my clients have used to stop temper tantrums fast!

  1. Emotion Regulation-It’s important for kids to know that they are in control of their feelings and emotions. They must also understand that they have the power to make choices on how they will respond to frustration, disappoints, etc.
  2. Help Child Know Their Triggers-Parenting always offers opportunities to teach your child on different levels. Many parents don’t realize the benefits of understanding how the brain impacts behavior. Parents who can teach their child how to recognize his or her amygdala-based threats and respond appropriately will help move their child to a higher level of thinking and responding to threats.
  3. Model Expected Behavior-Were you aware that children do what you do and not what you say? One of the greatest gifts parents can give their children is being a positive role model. For example, if you want your child to treat others with respect, you must model the same behavior.
  4. Connect with Felling’s-If a person feels stuck, he or she will do whatever is necessary to get unstuck. In many cases, children lack the vocabulary to express how they feel. This makes it critical that parents help children put words to feelings. Parents can say things like “you seem really happy; you seem very disappointed, you look excited, etc.” The goal is for parents to put words to the emotion the child is expressing.
  5. Teach Healthy Conflict Resolution-The goal is for children to identify their emotions and learn to control how they express their emotions. Feelings are a part of the human experience. Parents need to let children know that they have a right to their feelings. At the same time, they must control what they do to express those feelings. Specifically, when children are experiencing conflict, they need choices. Parents can say “yelling isn’t working, here are two things you can do.” When children have a clear choice, they are better able to focus, calm down, and follow through. Choices also allow the opportunity to teach personal responsibility.

A message from Felice Martin “Clients who work with me have created a peaceful atmosphere at home and school using my easy-to-follow temper tantrum-stopping system. If you are tired of yelling and feeling helpless, download the worksheet today.

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Posted in Activity, Parenting

10 Fine Motor Activities for preschoolers and toddlers

What are some fine motor skills activities for preschoolers, kids, and toddlers?

What are fine motor skills? Fine motor skills are the ability to make movements (motor) using the small (fine) muscles in our hands and wrist.

Gross motor skills have to do with the larger muscle groups in the arms and legs. Think of a child being able to crawl, walk, run, jump, skip, clap, and dance.

These skills are important because they allow us to do everyday things, such as getting out of bed in the morning, eating with a fork, spoon, or chopsticks, squeezing toothpaste out of the tube, brushing our teeth, zipping our pants, tying our shoes, and writing our name.

10 Fine Motor Activities

Here is a quick list of 10 fine motor activities for young children and some products to consider using when actively teaching these skills.

red paint
playing with clay
  1. Coloring – great for building hand muscles and getting use to holding a pencil. Toddler Large Picture Vehicle Coloring Book
  2. Painting – use washable, non-toxic paint. Have a child finger-paint, paint with a paint brush, and/or Q-tip to make a wonderful picture.
  3. Cutting with Scissors – try cutting straight lines and curved ones too. Halloween Scissor Skills Puzzle Workbook
  4. Use Dot Markers to improve hand eye coordination. Buy dot markers on amazon. Buy dot marker workbooks on amazon.
  5. Put-in task or shape sorting – putting objects or toys into holes build muscle strength and hand-eye coordination. (You can purchase fine motor put-in task toys via amazon affiliate linked. Shape Sorting ToyStaking and Sorting ToyFine Motor Hedgehog )
  6. Opening and closing locks/latches.
  7. Do puzzles. They are great for improving fine motor skills. Knob puzzles for younger children babies to pre-toddlers, and jigsaw puzzles for toddlers and older. Check out these cool puzzles!
  8. Getting dressed with belts, buttons, zippers, and snaps. Items to help build this skill: Busy Board with zippers and buttonsLearning to dress – interactive bookHousables Toddler Busy Board
  9. Bath time play with toys. Filling water into small buckets and pouring it out.
  10. Stacking and building with blocks. Legos100 building blocks.

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Posted in guest post, Homeschool, Parenting, Reading

How to Choose Books at Your Child’s Reading Level

Teaching your kid to read is one of the most satisfying things you can do as parents. There is nothing more exciting than watching our babies grow and learn.

We all know that reading is an important skill. Children tend to learn to read their first books between the ages of 3 and 7. The earlier he or she begins to discover the love of reading, the easier it will be for them to become confident and independent readers as they get older. There are many online resources you can use to develop your child’s reading skills. It is important that once a child gets a small grasp of phonics we encourage them to continue building their literacy skills. This can be done by choosing books that are on their reading level and of interest to them.

Twin boys reading a book

Keep in mind, that children will not master reading skills overnight. The process takes time, and you must be patient with your child. You must also be supportive of their needs as they learn. The best way for a parent to teach their child how to read is by choosing books that are at just the right level.

Girl reads to her stuffed animal toys.

As a parent, it is important to choose books at your child’s reading level. By doing so, you are making the reading experience more comfortable for your child. Choosing books that are too easy will not challenge your child. He or she will not feel as if they are making any progress. On the other hand, choosing books that are too difficult can cause frustration for your child. It can lead to him losing interest in reading altogether.

The tips below will help you learn how to choose books at your child’s reading level.  This article will make the process of choosing books easier for you.

5 Steps to Choosing Books for Your Child (On Their Reading Level)

The 5 steps below are super easy ways to choose interesting books that your kid can actually read (on their own).

1. Learn your kid’s measured reading level

The first step in choosing books at your child’s reading level is knowing your child’s reading level. For this to happen, you will need to administer a reading test.

The best way to do this is with the help of a professional. They can tell you what level your child is at in reading. Then they can recommend books that are at that same level. It will allow you to choose books that are fun and challenging for your kids. It also ensures that they are learning new things while they read each book.

You can also do a reading test at home. One ideal way is by using the San Diego Quick Assessment of Reading Ability (SDQA). The SDQA measures a child’s recognition of words out of context. This means that the child will read the words independently, not in sentence or story format. Generally, proficient readers

read as accurately both in and out of context. This test consists of 8 graded word lists from Pre-K to 7th Grade. The words within each list are of about equal difficulty.

This test is very simple and easy to do. You can do it at home in just a few minutes.


A minor fault of the SDQA testing method is that it is not suitable for comprehension testing. So, if your child pronounces words correctly but has trouble understanding what they are reading then this test may place them at a higher level than what is best for their reading enjoyment. Who can enjoy a story that they do not understand?

There are a plethora of online tests that you can give your child, to test word pronunciation and comprehension. Most will only take 10 to 30 minutes.

2. Searching for books that match your child’s reading level

Once you know your child’s reading level, it’s time to go out and buy the books. Of course, it will help if you can find out what the level is ahead of time. You can always get help from a teacher or librarian for this purpose. It will help you avoid buying books that are too easy or too difficult for your child.  Amazon’s children’s book section offers books for every age and stage.

3. The five-fingers spelling check and how to do it

The next step in choosing books at your child’s reading level is to do the five-fingered spelling check. It will tell you if you forgot any words to make sure that they are included in the words list. And it will prevent you from buying books that have words that your child can not pronounce.

You can do the five-fingers spelling check by asking your kid to hold up five fingers and read one page of a book. Put one finger down every time your kid doesn’t know a word. If all the five fingers end up down, the book is too difficult for your child.

This test can be done when buying a book in a store, at your local library, or while shopping online. If you are shopping for a book online, browse the look inside feature and ask your child to read one of the preview pages. 

4. A Quick Comprehension Check for Kids

The next step to choosing books at your child’s reading level is to check their comprehension. I mentioned this earlier when discussing the reading test. Who can enjoy a book that they don’t understand?  You can do this by asking your kids questions about what they have read. You can ask questions like “Who is the main character?”, “What happened in the story?” or “Why did that happen?”. Make sure that you do this as soon as your child finishes reading a book. If you wait too long after, they may have forgotten all about the story they read. So, it is best to do this right after they finish reading a book. If you notice a certain level of books or even books by a certain author are too difficult for your child to comprehend, try doing one of the following.

  • Re-read the book with your child.
  • Slow reading down and ask comprehension questions every page or every other page.
  • Go down a level and read books that are a tad bit similar. There is no shame in leveling down, your child will eventually be able to understand. We do not want to overwhelm children. We want them to develop a love for reading and acquiring knowledge.

5. Checking your child’s word pronounciation

The last step in choosing books at your child’s reading level is to do an audio check. It will help you find out if your child has any trouble pronouncing the words in the book. You can ask them to read short passages from the book. You can ask them to repeat words until they have them perfectly memorized. Make sure you provide the correct pronunciation before asking them to repeat words over and over. If you are unsure of how to pronounce a word, be open and honest with your child. Tell them “I am not sure about that one, but I will sound it out slowly so that I can say it correctly. Will you do it with me?”

8 Helpful Tips: Developing A Child’s Reading Skills Early

  1. Start reading with your kid from a young age.  It will give them the desire to learn how to read. Kids always want to do what they see mom or dad do.
  2. Encourage them to read books that are appropriate for their age. For example, if a young child is going to read a book about dinosaurs, make sure that the book doesn’t have any scary images. We don’t want our kids to be afraid of opening a book because a big scary dinosaur is there.
  3. Read with your kid every day. It will help them enhance their reading skills and learn how to appreciate stories. Bedtime is a perfect time to read.
  4. Encourage your kid to engage in conversations using what they have read. Talk about the books we read. It will help them to expand their knowledge and get ideas from the books you are reading together.
  5. Make sure that your child is always interested in what they are reading. “I can’t wait to read this book!” should be the feeling a child has when introduced to a book. Give your kids the opportunity to pick book topics that interest them. It will encourage them to keep reading.
  6. Whenever possible, turn regular TV time into reading time; for example, you can read aloud while your kid follows along with his book. As your child’s reading ability improves, he or she can even take over when you need a break!
  7. Give your kids multiple opportunities to read books based on their interests; this will help them develop their interests and differentiate between what they like and do not like, thus creating a more positive attitude towards learning. This will result in your child developing a love of reading.
  8. Actively teach phonics skills. Children as young as 2 or 3 years old can learn to read. Learn how to teach your child to read with these easy phonics videos, workbooks, and materials.  

We hope this article has helped you learn how to choose books at your child’s reading level. You can use the tips and strategies we have included in this article to make choosing books easier. Above all, the most essential thing you can do is to read with your children!

Learn About Our Guest Author

Andrea Gibbs is a blog contributor and stay at home mom
Andre Gibbs

I’m Andrea Gibbs! Born, raised, and still living in New York. I’m a work-at-home mom with a background in business development, strategy, and social media marketing. I’m a blog contributor at Baby Steps Daycare in Rego Park, New York to motivate and educate other parents about how they can get their children ahead of the game in school.

If you want your article featured on – submit a request form.

Posted in Activity, Parenting

Take a Peek Inside – Unabashed Kids Talk About Emotions: A Book About Feelings for Young Children

Purchase our newly released feelings book for you kid or school. Go through the different emotions a person can feel. Since the creation of Unabashed Kids Media the goal has always been to assist parents and educators in developing social-emotional awareness in young children. This can decrease instances of bullying, self harm behavior, low self-esteem, and depression. We want children to feel confident and certain of their own individual identities.

Get the kindle version of the book here -> Unabashed Kids Talk about Feelings: A Book of Feelings for Young Children

Get the paperback version of the book here -> Unabashed Kids Talk about Feelings: A Book of Feelings for Young Children

FREE emotions worksheets

We offer these free emotion worksheets to parents and educators. Please have open discussions with children while using these worksheets.

how am i feeling today worksheet

FREE Affirmation Coloring Pages

We offer these free affirmation coloring pages to parents and educators. Please have open discussions about confidence and self love while using these coloring pages.

i am loved. affirmation coloring page
Posted in Parenting

Back to School (COVID Safe)

Kids Are Going Back to School. How Do We Keep Them Safe?

As the Delta variant rages across the world and vaccination rates remain low in many parts, worried parents have two pressing questions: Should I send my child back to school? Will they be safe in school during a pandemic?

Parents have become frustrated at the lack of advice for families, particularly those with children under 12 years old, who are not yet eligible for a COVID vaccine. On social media and at school-board meetings, parents say they face an impossible choice: send kids to school and risk a COVID-19 infection, or keep kids home and jeopardize their mental health and educational development.

Children wearing face mask in school. Picture found on "back to school (covid safe)" blog
Photo by Muneer ahmed ok on Unsplash

While public health officials generally offer reassurance about the safety of children headed back to school, the advice varies depending on the conditions in your state. Please pay attention to your state or countries COVID guidelines.

Many parents are choosing to homeschool their children, even if the school district will no longer offer virtual classes. These parents must make a plan to not break any adolescent education laws and to provide their children with the best academic experience at home.

What can parents do to lower the risk of their child contracting COVID-19?

Getting a COVID vaccine may lower the risk of a child being infected at home and protect family members if a child brings the virus home from school. In addition, everyone in the family should consider getting flu shots this fall.

Reduce the risk for your whole family by avoiding crowds. Paying attention to the community transmission rates, vaccination rates, teaching children to wash their hands, and wearing masks in risky settings are great preventative measures.


What should parents do if their child’s school does not require masks?

Children in school. Picture found on "back to school (covid safe)" blog
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Even in schools with mask mandates, compliance by children is never 100 percent. And masks are only one of many possible precautions schools can take. Parents in school districts without mask mandates should learn what other steps are being taken, including regular testing, social distancing, and air ventilation measures. Parents can ask their own children to wear masks in schools, but keep in mind masking is far less effective if most kids aren’t doing it.

If you chose to send your kids with a face mask, it is important to send them with one that fits their face. Purchase Children’s Mask on Amazon.

"The school I teach at opened in-person September 2020 at about half capacity. A plan was made to clean the school several times during the day, with help of janitorial and teaching staff. The desk in the classroom and cafeteria were separated 3 to 6 feet apart. Distancing depended on the size of the room and the amount of students who would need to fit in the class.  UV-c lights were used in each classroom afterschool. The HVAC units were updated. The school district believed we were ready. When school started, children were in pods for most of the day but they ate lunch in the cafeteria, had recess, and specials with children from other grades and pods. School ran on a half-day schedule but a large percentage of the student body stayed full day for a free aftercare program that was offered for working parents. We had several outbreaks throughout the 2020-21 school year. Many teachers began to believe the the school administration did not take the health of staff and students seriously. Parents in the community had to go back to work, so school was open. Several teachers were extremely sick from COVID in February 2021. From October to May the several schools in the district had to close for 2 week quarantines due to staff exposure. The school administration made a great effort to get staff vaccinated. A large percentage of staff members and their families were able to be fully vaccinated by May 2021. My fellow teachers and I, hope that the plan for the next school year will be followed much more effectively. We truly love the children and want them in school and learning, but not at the risk of their health or our own."

- Kindergarten Teacher, USA 

In some pre-kindergarten special education or autism classroom mask wearing is not required due to the children’s ability to understand, behavior, or other needs of the child. If you have a child in a classroom wear mask are not required or are required but not worn by students, it is up-to you to contact school officials to address the problem. If you are uncomfortable with children in a classroom not wearing mask: ask for your child to change classrooms due to safety or ask for a virtual class.

If you have a young child who is intolerant to wearing a mask, please make the school administration and teacher aware of this. Practice mask wearing at home for short periods of time. Start with having your child touch the mask. Point out that others are wearing mask. Have the child wear the mask for 15 seconds at a time, then 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minute, 5 minutes, 5 minutes in different locations, 10 minutes in different locations, and 30 minutes in different locations. This method takes some time but it will help young children who are mask intolerant build up the stamina to wear a mask in school.


Can your kids visit grandma and grandpa during the school year?

We must take into consideration the health risk to elderly community members. Are they vaccinated? Are the children going to school in an area with high COVID-19 transmission rates? Are the grandparents in good health? The answer to whether a child visits their grandparents during the school year depends on your answers to this question. 

When everyone is vaccinated, families may feel more comfortable spending time together. If younger children are unvaccinated in a fully-vaccinated family group, some families might want to take additional precautions, like spending time together outdoors, wearing masks indoors, or getting tested before family gatherings to confirm that no one in the family is infectious.

Home testing is also an option, although it can get costly at about $15 per test. Regular testing of school-aged children, at bi-weekly intervals or before a family visit, can give parents peace of mind when families spend time with people outside their households.


Is in-person instruction safe for kids with medical needs?

Parents of children at very high risk for complications from Covid-19, including children with sickle cell anemia or those recovering from cancer, may need to do additional research before sending children back to school in fall 2021. The decision should be made based on advice from the child’s pediatrician and specialists, factoring in local conditions and the precautions being taken at the school.