Choosing Books for Your Child

Not every book is a good book, of course many children’s books are shoddily written and poorly illustrated — and far too many use words or deal with themes that are inappropriate.

Here are some suggestions on what we parents can do:

1. Talk to the experts. Children’s librarians can provide suggestions for books for children of all ages.

2. Know what your child is reading. Reading out loud to your children is a good way to do this, of course. But even with older children (and even with textbooks!) it is a good idea to keep an eye on what they are reading. Sometimes this is all it takes to head off problems with objectional language, values or subject material.

3. Make your concerns known. If you don’t like something, let the people responsible know. Write to the author of the book, the company that published it, and the bookstore, school or library that stocked it. Ask what standards they use to evaluate a book; explain the ones you use. Try to be as positive as you can — and whatever you don’t threaten them! — but do explain as clearly as you can what it is that you found objectionable.

And while you’re fighting the bad, don’t forget to encourage the good. Any time you find an exceptionally good book (On Sale or not), make sure the word gets out. Recommend it to your librarian and to your friends. Send a letter of thanks to the people responsible. And by all means, buy a copy for your child. In our society, the best way to make sure there are good children’s book is to see to it that the ones that are published turn a profit.


Signs of the Times

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A Shakedown on Dundruff

To control common dandruff:

Shampoo regularly. Start with a mild, non-medicated shampoo. Gently massage your scalp to loosen flakes. Rinse thoroughly.

Use medicated shampoo for stubborn cases. Look for those containing zinc pyrithione, salicylic acid, coal tar or selenium sulfide on shampoo brands. for best results, use a dandruff shampoo each time you shampoo.

Use tar-based shampoos carefully. These shampoos are strong dandruff deterrents, but they can leave brownish stain on light-colored or gray hair. they also can make your scalp more sensitive to the sun. Check the label for ingredients.

Treat your hair gently. Dandruff shampoos can be harsh on your hair and scalp. Use a conditioner regularly. for mild cases of dandruff, alternate dandruff shampoo with your regular shampoo.

See a dermatologist. If dandruff persists, or if your scalp becomes irritated or severely itchy, you may need a prescription shampoo.


Source: Mayo Clinic

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Building Baby’s Brain: The Role of Music (continuation)

See first part of post here.

Researchers think the complexity of classical music is what primes the brain to solve spatial problems more quickly. So listening to classical music may have different  effects on the brain than listening to other types of music.

This doesn’t mean that other types of music aren’t good. Listening to any kind of music helps build music-related pathways in the brain. And music can have positive effects on our moods that may make learning easier.

What Can You Do?

Parents and child-care providers can help nurture children’s love of music beginning in infancy. Here are some ideas:

  • Play music for the baby. Expose the baby to many different musical selections of various styles. If you play an instrument, practice when the baby is nearby. But keep the volume moderate. Loud music can damage a baby’s hearing.
  • Sing to the baby. Hearing your voice helps the baby begin to learn language. Babies love the patterns and rhythms of songs. And even young babies can recognize specific melodies once they’ve heard them.
  • Sing with the child. As children grow, they enjoy singing with you. And setting words to music actually helps the brain learn them more quickly and  retain them longer. That’s why we remember the lyrics of songs we sang as children, even if we haven’t heard them in years.
  • Start music lessons early. If you want the child to learn an instrument, you don’t need to wait until elementary school to begin lessons. Young children’s developing brains are equipped to learn music. Most four – and five – year olds enjoy making music and can learn the basics of some instruments.
  • Encourage the child’s school to teach music. Singing helps stimulate the brain, at least briefly. Over time, music education as a part of school can help build skills such as coordination and creativity. And learning music helps the child become a well-rounded person.



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