Recognizing good finished food: canned food for dogs and cats – these products should be avoided

Recognizing good finished food: canned food for dogs and cats – these products should be avoided

Parents can actively support their offspring. Very important: read a lot. With the help of a little trick, the little ones will read on by themselves at some point.

Parents are often amazed at how their child struggles to learn to read with an apparently simple text. "Learning to read is a highly complex process", says Stephanie Jentgens, who heads the literature department at the Academy of Cultural Education in Remscheid. Beginners must first get the connection between sound and letter, then combine the sounds into a word. Finally, it is a matter of grasping the meaning of the word, the sentence and the whole text.

Klaus-Peter Mandalka repeatedly experiences how important patience is when accompanying children while they practice reading. The 72-year-old is a volunteer reading tutor for the Mentor association in Oldenburg. Once a week he supports a primary school child on their way into the world of letters. "Reading shouldn’t become a compulsion"says Mandalka. Children are free to choose what they want to read, and in between they can chat about home or the holidays.

Reading aloud should be part of everyday life

Jentgens also recommends taking it easy with learning to read. Nobody has to be able to read in kindergarten. If the child is interested in letters, the parents can support this. But they shouldn’t be targeting it. "That just creates unnecessary pressure"says Jentgens. Something completely different is important in preschool age: reading aloud.

This is part of everyday life in many families. More than two thirds of parents read to their child daily or at least several times a week in the first three years of life. This is shown by a current study by the Reading Foundation. But that also means that around 30 percent of all children are never or only very rarely read aloud in their first few years. According to the foundation, children benefit from reading aloud in the first few months. According to the information, many parents start too late.

Children’s vocabulary expands through reading aloud

Generally speaking, reading aloud trains children’s listening comprehension, promotes vocabulary and arouses their interest in literature. According to the foundation, children who are regularly read to are better at school later and prefer to read themselves for longer.

As before, it is mostly the mothers who read to their children. More women than men work in kindergartens and primary schools. For boys, this could give the impression that reading is more for girls, says Christine Kranz from the Reading Foundation in Mainz. Fathers should get involved too. "A dad who reads is an important role model for a young boy."

Even if the child can read himself, reading aloud remains important. "Parents should support in this way at least until the end of primary school"advises Kranz. 

Children should help decide when choosing books

When choosing what to read, parents should follow the interests of the child, not the other way around. "You can also learn to read with non-fiction books for first-time readers or comics"says Kranz.

However, parents should make sure that the reading level is appropriate. In general, books with a very large font, simple words, lots of pictures and no hyphenation are suitable for beginners. The story should also be understood from the illustrations.

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Parents can also use a little trick to tempt their child to read: choose a captivating book to read with short chapters and stop when it is most exciting. "The moment when the child reads on because they absolutely want to know how things will go on is very precious"says Jentgens. This is the beginning of secret browsing under the covers.

When dog and child meet, it is exciting for both parties. Parents should keep a few things in mind in order to recognize and avoid an emerging danger.

Small children often meet dogs at eye level. But you shouldn’t look into the animal’s eyes, explains the magazine "parents" (November 2017 edition). Dogs may feel attacked by looking directly. When petting the child, it is better to look at the animal’s back. Before doing anything, the dog owner must always be asked.

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If the child goes a little overzealously at the four-legged friend, things can get to write an argumentative essay In this case, one of the parents is best placed between the child and the dog. If, on the other hand, the dog approaches the toddler, parents can also place the child in front of them with their backs to the animal. Eye contact is impossible, but the dog can still see the child and does not feel provoked because it is being withheld from him.

Children start to negotiate rules and freedoms with their parents very early. You can read here what adults should pay attention to and what limits are important.

Staying up a little longer in the evening or putting on a dress instead of pants: These are typical demands that all parents know from their children. Make real deals with them ("If you do that, you will get this") adults can only later. Because at pre-school age it is still difficult for children to understand that they have to fulfill part of the agreement themselves.

"Clear boundaries and rules are very important here"says Dana Mundt from the online counseling of the Federal Conference for Educational Advice. This is especially true for things that are immovable, such as brushing your teeth or going to bed at a certain time.

The danger of the boomerang effect

But that doesn’t mean that parents can’t let their children have a say in decisions. The older they get, the more they are allowed to negotiate things within a certain framework. Smaller children are more at risk of a boomerang effect, such as announcing to their parents "If I’m supposed to help you with dinner, I still want to watch the DVD".

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It is helpful if the parents clearly define for themselves in which areas clear rules should apply and where the child can have more leeway – for example when choosing clothes or during the weekend program.

The range of child seats is huge. But what should parents look out for when buying to be on the safe side?

When it comes to the safety of their offspring, many parents do not want to compromise. But in which child car seat are the children in good hands? This is often difficult for the layperson to see. In principle, however, all child seats on the German market require approval and are subject to a so-called ECE standard. This is explained by Lothar Wech, an expert in vehicle safety from the Technical University of Ingolstadt.

Label shows which size child seats are suitable for

"These seats are provided with an orange, rectangular label"says Wech. The latest and revised directive is ECE-R 129. "Seats with this identifier had to withstand tougher requirements and were subjected to an additional side impact test." Older models should at least have the identifier ECE-R 44.

The orange labels also show what weight or size the seats are suitable for. With the ECE-R 44 it’s weight, with the ECE-R 129 it’s size. According to Wech, the latter is particularly useful because the belts would fit better that way. Because whether a child is fat or thin has less of an impact on the seat of the seatbelt than its height.

"Some seats can be converted. But you really have to do that when it’s so far that the belt geometry no longer fits"says Wech.

Before buying: test the child seat in the car

In its current test, Stiftung Warentest found that two out of 37 car seats contain a flame retardant that could be carcinogenic. One of the belts was so bad that it could damage internal organs in the event of an accident. In another, the child half flew out of the seat.

However, on-site research is also recommended for a suitable model. "Before buying, you should try out the child seat in your own vehicle, because not every product fits perfectly into every car"says Clemens Hirschfeld, editor of the magazine "Car, motor and sport". "When buying a new child seat in a specialist shop, for example, a good advisor will introduce you to several types of seat and explain their advantages and disadvantages."

But not only your own car, but also your child should be there when you buy. "Because only if the little ones feel comfortable in the seat will they remain in it for a longer period of time without whining"says Hirschfeld.

Do not buy a used child seat

Child seats are not necessarily cheap. "Models for children up to 105 centimeters or 13 kilograms are 150 to 500 euros, those from nine kilograms cost between 260 to 320 euros"says Meike Sartorius from Stiftung Warentest. Perhaps one or the other parent will think of buying a second-hand seat that has already been used from the upper price segment at a lower price. Hirschfeld strongly advises against this. The history of a used child seat can often not be traced. Possible damage from a crash can usually not be seen.

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Booster seats, also known as boosters, are cheap and can be had from around 15 euros. "They are intended for children aged six to twelve"says Lothar Wech. But he is not really enthusiastic: "These seats are often seen in taxis. But if you have the opportunity, you should choose a different seat." Of course, it is still better with an increase than without, because the belt fits better. Sartorius also clearly advises against: "The head is not protected here." In a side impact, there is also insufficient protection because there is no seat wall. "The child’s head slams unchecked against the window."

A letter from an American to her five-year-old daughter published on Facebook caused a stir on the Internet. The message in it is inspiring.

Blogger Toni Hammer wrote a letter to her daughter. In it, the American listed 13 things that her daughter should not do. What sounds like strict parenting rules has a completely different background: In the points that Hammer has listed, she simply demands of her child that she should not do anything just to please others.

"Don’t smile just because someone tells you to do it"

For example, it means that she shouldn’t dress in a certain way just to make others like her. Nor should she act in a certain way just to please others – not smile just because someone tells her to; Not "Yes" say just to be polite. In addition, the girl should not hold back her own opinion. "Say it out loud. You should be heard"writes Hammer.

And finally: "Don’t apologize for who you are. Be brave and fearless and wonderful. Be uncompromisingly yourself."

Toni Hammer’s letter to her daughter

Here is the full letter in German:

"To my daughter

Don’t apologize if someone else bumps into you, don’t say, ‘Sorry I’m such a pain in the ass’. You’re not. You are a person with thoughts and feelings who deserve respect; don’t make excuses why you can’t date a guy you don’t want to date. You don’t owe anyone an apology. A simple ‘no thanks’ should be enough; don’t think about what you are eating in front of other people. When you’re hungry, eat – and eat what you want. When you feel like pizza, don’t order a salad just because other people are around. Order the damn pizza. Don’t wear your hair long just to make someone else happy. Don’t wear a dress if you don’t want to. Don’t stay home just because you have no one to date you. Go out with yourself. Experience with yourself and for yourself; don’t hold back your tears. Crying means that you are feeling something that needs to get out. It is not a weakness to cry. It’s human. Don’t smile just because someone tells you to smile. Don’t be afraid to laugh at your own jokes. Don’t say ‘yes’ just to be polite. Say no because it’s your life, don’t hold back on your opinion. Say it out loud. We want you to be heard; don’t apologize for who you are. Be brave and fearless and wonderful. Be uncompromisingly yourself."

"Not-to-do"-List was liked over 12,000 times

Blogger Hammer published her letter on Facebook. Over 12,000 people have liked him. It has been divided almost 9,000 times. Due to the positive response, Hammer has now also published her post as a book. She wants to donate part of the proceeds to projects that aim to strengthen girls’ rights.

Hammer wrote the letter because her daughter is now going to kindergarten. She revealed that in an interview with the US "Huffington Post". She is worried about her daughter, because she herself often had a hard time being teased in kindergarten and school. She wishes that her daughter would grow up with a strong sense of self and not be intimidated by others.

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The "Not-to-do"-List conveys a message that everyone should take to heart: Live in a way that makes you happy – and not just the others.

Child seats should transport the little passengers safely in the car. Most do that too, as Stiftung Warentest has found. There are twelve of the 16 seats tested "quality". But two fall with "inadequate" by.

Parents want to be on the safe side with child seats. As a test by ADAC and Stiftung Warentest shows ("test"- Edition 11/2017), there are not too many outliers in terms of seats. Twelve of the 16 seats are included "Well" from. The quality does not have to depend on the price. Good seats are available for between 140 and 700 euros.