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5 gifts your little scientist will love

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  • I want my girls to embrace math and science, instead of "dropping out" of these subjects – which are still, arguably, perceived as more for boys – when they get to junior high or high school. But for them and all science-shy (or of course science-psyched) girls and boys, I'm hoping these five nature-oriented gifts will make scientific discoveries fun, practical, and something they understand is part of their daily lives.

  • Butterfly grow kit

    One of the first experiments we tried at home was a butterfly grow kit. The Nature Gift Store Live Butterfly Kit came with a mesh bag, a container filled with caterpillar food, and five very hungry caterpillars. We watched them every day as they grew bigger, eventually made cocoons, and reemerged as butterflies. It was so fun, and we were so excited on release day.

  • Owl pellet dissection

    I remember having to dissect a calf's eye in sixth grade while the class next door dissected owl pellets (a compact regurgitation of the undigestible parts of the owl's latest meal). I'd never heard of owl pellets before that, but they're a fascinating and humane way to teach dissection. You might find hair, bones, teeth, fur, and more. Owl pellets could be lying around in your own backyard, but if not, this Owl Pellet Dissection Kit from Evviva Sciences is a great substitute.

  • Microscope slide kit

    I inherited my older brother's chemistry set, which included a microscope. I spent hours making my own slides and examining magnified household items. Being able to see how things work on the inside is an important part of learning. The AmScope Kids Beginner Microscope STEM kit comes with brine shrimp (a.k.a. sea monkeys) and an easy carrying case for travel and storage.

  • Fizzy rockets

    Last summer, my family learned about fizzy rockets at an event put on by our local library. These rockets can be as DIY simple as an Alka-Seltzer tablet and a film cartridge – add water, tamp the lid down lightly, and prepare for liftoff. Or try the Liquifly Fizz Rocket for powerful flights of up to 15 feet.

  • Baking soda volcano

    You probably have most of the ingredients in this Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Experiment kit at home and/or can make them, but having them packed and ready makes you more likely to just do it. There are 11 experiments in this kit and all the equipment needed is included. You do have to build your own volcano, though.



  • In the continuation of the first part of our interview, Speranta Farca tells us about the relationship between parents and children, about the books she writes and about the ones she reads, as well as about the future, childhood and the freedom that helps us to grow and be creative. .

    : Hope, who do you think are the ingredients of a good relationship with our children? How do we build this good relationship?
    Hoping Farca: I think we need to find ourselves, listen more to our heart and take less into account the opinion of experts and entourage.

    It is also important to give ourselves time to spend it with the children; Whenever we want something it is good to look into their eyes: then we will know what they want, what they need, what they feel. It is very simple if we relax, if we are ourselves we enjoy life as it is, if we do not feel overwhelmed with responsibility, if we trust our children and accept them with all their heart as they are.
    : If we started wrong in the relationship with our children, can we change things, can we replace, can we repair? Or is everything that we do irreparable?
    Hoping Farca: Only those who do not have children do not make mistakes with them. The mistake is invisible and even beneficial. A mother who is not mistaken is overwhelming, too perfect for any child. We offer our children as we are, with good and bad, with our history, with our happiness and unhappiness: in life nothing is perfect and it is good that it is so.

    What we can do - but - is not to persist in our mistakes, to want to discover them, to assume them and to try to repair them. Then our children will also learn to forgive and to be forgiven, to repair themselves and not to disappear.

    It is never too late to see our mistakes, to recognize and repair them. The experience of a recognized and correct mistake is better for the relationship with children than a happy experience from the beginning.
    : As parents, I think we're trying to do what's best for our children. Mistakes come - maybe - also from trying to do too much and too much. Both we and our children. How can we know what our children really want, what is right for them and what they do only to make us feel new?
    Hoping Farca: There is nothing wrong with being pleased with what we do for our children. Children feel happy and refuse what we do out of obligation - they do not need our sacrifice, they need a happy life together.

    But it would be good to distinguish between the needs of the child and his wishes. Sometimes this distinction is difficult to discover, but it is very important.

    The needs of the child must be satisfied, unconditionally and without asking for anything in return. The child needs food, rest, education, a healthy life, but above all freedom, safety and respect. There are needs with which we cannot joke.

    But the wishes should not be fulfilled in any case. They belong to the child who fulfills them alone, and defers them, fantasizes a fulfillment, it is not our job, we are not the Good Fairy. The wishes fulfilled are overwhelming, the connection unnatural and they oppose the independence of the child. We can imagine that it is perfectly normal for a child to want his moon from heaven, but if we brought it, it would crush him and destroy the whole world ... metaphorically speaking, this is what happens with any desire. .
    : What do you think are the necessary tools in the education of our children? What would be good and what is compulsory to call?
    Hoping Farca: Education means preparing the child to be free. He is not free as long as he cannot anticipate the consequences of his acts. Therefore, our role as parents is to help him see what the natural consequences of the facts are. Those consequences that he can assume, he will experience on his own skin, from others we will stop him softly, but firmly, if they endanger him or endanger those around him.
    A child must be raised in freedom with the help of four main levers: love, respect, gentle authority and truth, nothing can make us give up these.

    In no way does education mean conditioning, cheating, reward or punishment, submission or obligation - these are all chains of training that bind children to us and obstruct them from becoming free, independent.
    : If we talk about books as tools for education, growth, self-discovery, would you like to tell us what your favorite childhood book was and what your favorite book is now? What have they changed in your way of seeing the world, what has been and is different from these books there?
    Hoping Farca: I love reading and I always liked it. Reading, I feel stimulated to make my own discoveries. When I was little, I wanted to marry the Prince of France and have a huge library with all the books in the world, with a large garden where I can read all day. I found the prince, I found a library, but time to read I did not want as much.
    Apart from the specialized books that I study fondly, I always return to the classics of my field, to Freud, Lacan, Winnicott. I read poetry and literature that inspires me to discover new psychoanalytic understandings. And here I feel the need to return to the classics: Eminescu, Slavici, Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Homer, Ovid ... I always read from them at least a little, because every time I discover something new.
    With my girls I read more. Not knowing how to sing, Eminescu's "Luceafarul" was the "swing song" of my girls. I am fascinated by encyclopedias of all kinds, which exist now for children and which were not in my time, from which I find with them a lot of interesting things. We read stories and poems, and children's authors seem to me the wisest philosophers. It impresses me to tears "The Little Print" (Exupery), "Girl with matches" (Andersen), "With the language of death" (Otilia Cazimir) and Ion Teresa amuses me terribly.
    : Hope, I know we seem to be back at the beginning of our discussion, but would you like to tell us which books you wrote and to whom they are addressed? And how did you get started writing these books?
    Hoping Farca: Books are related to my mother and my children.

    My mother liked to write, she would have been a very good Romanian writer and I think it would not be late now. She wrote my compositions for school so beautiful, but so different from how I felt. After I passed the inhibition phase, I began to write as I felt ignoring any "commentary", classical interpretation or famous critical idea; nor to take the exams I did not recite the thoughts of others - if I had given up writing my mother, now nothing impresses me!

    Then, when I started to want to bring a child into the world, I started working on my doctorate and my first book. This state of desire lasted about 6 years because initially we could not afford a child in the studio where we lived, and then he did not come ... From this longing for my child, which we expected, I wrote my first book "The four How we become parents ”appeared at the Three Publishing House in 2003.

    The next book I started when I was pregnant with the second girl and when I needed to find a lot of support inside me, to cope at the same time with big demands coming from two different directions (of the two girls). This book could not be published as it was too bulky, so its middle - the child's developmental part - constituted a book: "What the child lives and what his mother feels", published in the Three Publishing House in 2009.

    The rest, the part of pregnancy, birth, environment, psychotherapy and education, appeared as another book: "How to meet the child as parents, grandparents, doctors and educators", published at the same publishing house in 2010.

    Now, when I feel the need to detach myself from the Institute, I have written a book that summarizes my entire 18 years of experience here: a guide for parents with kindergarten children and for educators called "My favorite kindergarten", which will appear in a few weeks as an ebook on iTunes. I dedicated this book to my first patient with whom I worked in kindergarten no. 111, 17 years ago.

    I really like everything I write. Every day I write something, at least a few thoughts. This creates a great state of tranquility, clarification with me.
    : If a mother needs help, if she doesn't find the answers and would like to talk to you, where can she find you?
    Hoping Farca: On my site: //speranta.farca.ro or simply search by my name on Google.
    : What future projects do you have? Both professional and personal projects?
    Hoping Farca: Let me see my book "My favorite kindergarten" published on iTunes, then publish it on Amazon. It is a book that I hope will be of help to all those who want to create a good environment for preschoolers. But there is also a chapter that can help us become better communicators between us, adults.

    I have already started reviewing, remodeling and translating my books for moms. From each chapter I made a standalone book. The first one has already been translated into English and I hope it will be published as an ebook in the fall. I have emotions because my writings are impregnated by the Romanian culture and I am curious to see how they will be received by the non-roman mothers.

    Otherwise, I do not want many changes in my life, because my girls need a stable environment to be able to make changes for their own becoming. So I will continue to work with a very small number of patients in the practice, as before. Maybe I will give up either the Institute or the faculty, because I have grown older and I feel the need for less diverse activities.

    For the distant future, I want to have a little garden with a garden in which to cultivate all kinds. Talk to my husband and read, get to play grandchildren and write fairy tales.
    : Finally, Hope, tell us what dimensions of childhood do you think we should keep unchanged, regardless of age?
    Hoping Farca: It is very difficult to be a child, we flirt with an idealized idea of ​​childhood, but if it were even possible to be children with all that this means, then we would not want to. That is why it is so hard to be a mother, raising a child sends you to becoming the child you were and is not easy at all. It would be good, however, if we were deeply involved with the child we were, the parents we had, the experiences we had. This would help us to better understand our children, to be with them and to support them when needed.

    But if we could keep the availability for play, transformed into creative capacity, and unsold freedom for no risk or benefit, then I think we would create the foundation of a healthier world for our children.
    : Thanks!

    Tags Interview Story Children's game Play Passions for children Education for children Mother-child relationship books

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    Name Virginia - Meaning and origin

    Origin of first name:

    Italians

    Meaning of the name:

    Derived from Virginia, from the Latin virgo, "virgin". St. Virginia dedicated her life and fortune to abandoned children and the poor. His birthday: January 7th.

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