Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Funny pacifiers for Halloween

OK, so you're not quite ready to get rid of the pacifier yet. That's OK. There comes a time and place for everything. Might as well have a little fun with the babe this Halloween. The vampire pacifier is hysterical and is sure to give those "paci naysayers" a moment of pause.
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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

7 Elements of Successful Transitions...because Change is Strange

n Michael Watkin's "Your next Move," he lists the 7 Elements of Successful Transitions. I found them quite helpful and relevant for all aspects of life's transitions. So, I thought I'd share...

1. Organize to learn. Figure out what you most need to learn, from whom, and how you can best learn it. Focus on the right mix of technical, cultural and political learning.
2. Establish A-list priorities.Identify a few vital goals and pursue them relentlessly. Think early about what you need to accomplish by the end of the year.
3. Define Strategic Intent. Develop and communicate a compelling mission and vision for what the organization will become. Outline a clear strategy for achieving the mission and realizing the vision.
4. Build the leadership team.
5. Lay the organizational foundation for success. Identify the most important supporting changes you need to make in the structure, processes, and key talent bases of the organization.
6. Secure Early Wins. Build personal credibility and energize people identifying "centers of gravity" where you can get some early successes. Organize the right set of initiatives to secure early wins.
7. Create Support Alliances. Identify how the organization really works and who has influence. Understand who needs to champion your success and create key alliance in support of your initiatives.
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Is this a mid-life crisis?

Lately, I have had many conversations with many different women who all appear to be experiencing some form of a "mid-life crisis".
It appears as:
* discontent with life and/or the lifestyle that may have provided happiness for many years
*Boredom with things/people that have hitherto held great interest and dominated your life
*Feeling adventurous and wanting to do something completely different
*Questioning the meaning of life, and the validity of decisions clearly and easily made years before
*Confusion about who you are, or where your life is going.

Everyone seems to think they are "the only one" experiencing these feelings and feel terribly guilty about having these feelings in the first place especially in a time when so many people are experiencing tremendous level of hardship. Well, listen up, ladies, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Carl Jung identified 5 main phases of midlife many years ago and what you are feeling is real and part of life's natural transitions.

Carl Jung identified 5 main phases of midlife:
Accommodation (meeting others' expectations - actually, this takes place in the first part of life, but is the context in which midlife processes take place)
Separation (rejecting the accommodated self)
Liminality (a period of uncertainty, where life seems directionless and meanders)
Reintegration (working out 'who I am' and becoming comfortable with that identity)
Individuation (facing up to and accepting the undesirable aspects of our own character)

It is a fluid process - but recognizing the stages can help to make sense of what is otherwise chaos and confusion. Perhaps understanding of mid-life transition might help some people to move from thinking 'there is something wrong with me' to seeing that the feelings and changes associated with mid-life are quite natural. In fact, they are experienced by most other people at a similar stage of life. So, embrace the fact that Change Is Strange and look forward to moving towards Individuation!
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Friday, March 12, 2010

Change is strange meets the ipad... Yes or no?

According to Mike Elgan of the Raw Feed, the iPad will spark a revolution in children's culture. He is convinced that starting this year, and especially next year, iPads will be the No. 1 most requested holiday and birthday gift by everyone under the age of 18, and especially under the age of 12.

Kids will learn to read, write and count on iPads. They'll watch TV, movies and cartoons on iPads. They'll do social networking, play games, and even color in virtual coloring books.

By the time these kids reach middle school, they will have been using multitouch user interfaces almost every day for eight years or more.

The iPad platform will prove irresistible to everyone -- parents, content providers, and especially the kids themselves. He believes Children are hardwired for touch interfaces, and they love iPhones.

Mike Elgin believes that in the the under-12 market, the iPad will dominate without any real competition and will completely change children's culture. Here are three reasons why he thinks that will happen: It's perfect for parents, the "children's culture" industry and kids themselves.

So, what do you think? Do you think the ipad is the future? and, if so, should Change Is Strange adapt and start creating interactive content for kids and parents?

Mike Elgan writes about technology and global tech culture. Contact Mike at, follow him on Twitter or his blog, The Raw Feed.
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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Change Is Strange

Check out our amazing books for kids!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Resilience is key

You’ve encountered endless obstacles in your life. There have been parenting obstacles, career obstacles and obstacles in your personal life. But, you’ve climbed over every one of them – and in the process even cracked a few glass ceilings. Resilience is vital in today's world, so I applaud you.

It is necessary to be flexible and open to change, especially during these economic times. Strength and flexibility are key to success.
I truly believe resilience is one of the keys to a happy life.

Changing environments, like the one we’re living in today, can be a great challenge, but if you’re resilient, you’ll find the opportunities in it.

This is the lesson I hope to teach my children. I have one child who easily accepts change and can adapt effortlessly to different situations. However,I have another one who fights it tooth and nail.

A change in schedule, dinner menu, or even the location of a play date can send her into a tizzy for hours.
I've learned over time, that preparing her for the changes in advance, greatly helps her cope with the acceptance of these changes. I try not to spring changes on her. It's a lot more work but well worth it in the end and hopefully, as she matures, she will learn to create these systems internally making her more resilient as an adult.
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Friday, March 05, 2010

Helping Prepare Your Kids for A Move

Moving is one of life't many changes, and especially if it's accompanied by other changes such as divorce, can be difficult for kids. To help kids deal with the transition, keep them informed at each stage and try to involve them as much as is feasible.

1.As soon as you think you might be moving, start floating the idea to your kids. If you see a nice house or apartment, ask "would you like to live somewhere like this someday?" The more time you give them to get used to the idea, the better.

2.If possible, involve them in the process of looking for a new place to live.. This will make the whole process of a move exciting for them and may make them feel more involved in a decision that's beyond their control.

3. When you have definate plans for a move, let them know. Mark it on a calendar. Count the days with the kids and be enthusiastic and excited.

4. Take each child, if you are able, to get some new things for their room. This could be as simple as an arts and crafts project to make something for the new place. A foam sign with their name for their door, or a picture of their favorite character to hang on the wall. COnsider letting them pick a wall color for their new room.
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Monday, March 09, 2009

7 Ways to Help Kids Cope with the Upset of Divorce

Seven ways to help kids cope with the upset of a divorce:

1. Encourage honesty. Kids need to know that their feelings are important to their parents and that they'll be taken seriously.
2 Help your child put their feelings into words. Children's behavior can often clue you in to their feelings of sadness or anger. Let them voice their emotions and help them to label them, without trying to change their emotions or explain them away. You might say: "It seems as if you're feeling sad right now. Do you know what's making you feel so sad?" Be a good listener when they respond, even if it's difficult for you to hear what they have to say. Encourage them to draw a picture about their feelings or write a story. It may help clue you in to their true emotions.
3 Legitimize their feelings. Saying "I know you feel sad now" or "I know you miss Daddy" lets kids know that their feelings are valid. It's important to encourage kids to get it all out before you start offering ways to make it better.
4 Offer support. Ask, "What do you think will help you feel better?" They might not be able to name something, but you can suggest a few ideas — maybe just to sit together for a while, take a walk, or hold a favorite stuffed animal. Younger kids might especially appreciate an offer to call Daddy on the phone or to make a picture to give to mommy when she comes at the end of the day.
5 Keep yourself healthy. For many adults, separation and divorce is one of the most stressful life events they ever go through. That pressure may be amplified by custody and financial issues, which can bring out the worst in people. Finding ways to manage your own stress is essential for you and your entire family. Keeping yourself as physically and emotionally healthy as possible can help combat the effects of stress, and by making sure you're taking care of your own needs, you can ensure that you'll be in the best possible shape to take care of your family.
6 Keep the details in check. Take care to ensure privacy when discussing the details of the divorce with friends, family, or your lawyer. Remember that children often are listening when you are on the phone. Try to keep your interactions with your ex as civil as possible, especially when you're interacting in front of the kids. Take the high road — don't resort to blaming or name-calling within earshot of your children, no matter what the circumstances of the separation. This is especially important in an "at fault" divorce where there have been especially hurtful events, like infidelity.
7 Get help. This is not the time to go it alone. Find a support group, talk to others who have gone through this, use online resources, or ask your doctor to refer you to other resources. Getting help yourself sets a good example for your kids on how to make a healthy adjustment to this major change. Help from a counselor, therapist, or friend will also maintain healthy boundaries with your kids. It's very important not to lean on your kids for support.

Consistency and routine can go a long way toward providing comfort and familiarity that can help your family during this major life change. When possible, minimize unpredictable schedules, transitions, or abrupt separations.

Divorce is a major crisis for a family. But if you and your former spouse can work together and maintain a civil relationship for the benefit of your children, the original family unit can continue to be a source of strength, even if step families enter the picture.
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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The New Catch Phrase of 2009

This morning on Good Morning America, I was listening to the list of "what is in" and "what is out" for 2009. Among them was the new catch phrase of 2009. They said the phrase "it's all good", is out and "it is what it is" is in, but I would beg to differ and say the new catch phrase for 2009 should be "change is strange". The company that's been killing it for the past several years with the phrase LIFE IS GOOD plastered all over their clothing may be in for a bit of a challenge with the reality of 2008's train wreck settling in... that in fact, "it is what it is" and change is strange are a little more on target for our current head space.
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Sunday, December 14, 2008

I Told You Change Is Strange!

Today I stumbled upon an interesting post from blogger Scilla Alecci.

She states that "Hen," which means "change" in English, has been chosen as the single best kanji to characterize the year 2008, a Kyoto-based kanji promotion organization said Friday. The Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation said it received a total of 111,208 entries for its poll to select the single best kanji reflecting society in 2008.

Of the total, 6,031, or 5.4%, picked "hen," followed by "kin" (gold) and "raku" (fall). "Kin" was apparently chosen because of gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, while "raku" was chosen to reflect falling stock prices. "Hen" was chosen to symbolize successive changes of power in Japan from 2007 to 2008, the victory of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, who called for change during his presidential campaign, and the deterioration in the global financial and economic landscape, the association said. (Text from Japan Today, 12/13/08)

Of course "hen" also means strange, which could be fitting. The kanji "hen" is also used in "taihen" meaning "difficult." Perhaps things have been strange and difficult this year and we are all in need of change...

You can read more about the choice (in Japanese language only) at the Japanese Kanji Proficiency Society web page.

You can see what the kanji of the year since 1995 has been at this encyclopedia site.

So, you see, Change really is Strange!
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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Natalie Morales of The Today Show is a Change Is Strange Fan!

Yesterday when I opened the mail, I was thrilled to find a lovely Thank You note from Natalie Morales of The Today Show. Let me just say, that she is my absolute favorite! She is smart and classy and beautiful and approachable and she has always been at the top of my "who do you admire" list. So, a couple months ago when I saw her perfectly pregnant on The Today show about to give birth talking about how worried she was that her five year old, Josh, was going to have trouble adjusting to a new baby, I instantly thought, she needs a Change Is Strange We're Having A Baby book.

A friend of a friend ended up gifting the book to Natalie after her son Luke was born. And obviously, she loved it because here is the note I received yesterday...

Dear Ricki,

The personalized book about adjusting to a newborn baby is an amazing tool in dealing with this major household transition. We received it as a gift for Josh after Luke was already born and found them so helpful. Thank you for the extra help in parenting! We all know we need help every now and again.
_ Natalie Morales
Today Show Host

Thanks Natalie!
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What I'm Thankful For

On this Thanksgiving day, I am thankful for so many things. I am thankful for my two healthy children. I am thankful for my husband and my family and all my friends. I am thankful for our countries ability to embrace change. I am thankful for homemade chocolate chip cookies and the re-release of Free to Be You and Me by Marlo Thomas. I am thankful for my die hard supporters who continue to support Change Is Strange and convince me to keep going even when I'm ready to throw in the towel. I am thankful that we, as humans, are always more resilient, more flexible and more compassionate that we ever give ourselves credit for.
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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Alleviate the trauma for your child

Urban baby published a very helpful article today on helping to alleviate the trauma of an E.R. visit for your child. I found it really helpful and quite on target with the change is strange brand being that we are all about taking strange situations and helping our children adapt to them. Here is what the article said:

A trip to the E.R. with a child often means hours of waiting, needles, the stress of watching your baby in discomfort, and docs who look nothing like George Clooney. But it’s still your job to alleviate the trauma for your child.

Pediatrician Dr. William Sears, best-selling author of more than 30 parenting books and father of eight, says an emergency room visit is a chance to shine as a parent. He spoke to UrbanBaby about some easy things you can do to keep the fear factor to a minimum.

Stress less: Stay calm. An anxious parent makes for an anxious child.

Comedy hour: Humor is the best medicine. Crack a joke or act silly to diffuse tension.

Mind over matter: Keep in mind that children who feel better, heal better.

Security blanket: Pack a favorite comfort item — a stuffed animal, rattle, or book.

Advocate: Speak up. Ask questions, update hospital personnel of any change in your child’s condition, and take notes. You’re there to represent your child and to make informed decisions on her behalf.

Hand holders: At the hospital, ask for a child life specialist or social worker. A child life specialist has been specially trained to help little patients and their families cope with the stress of a hospital visit.

Needle know-how: Almost every kid fears the dreaded needle. Ask if the hospital has a topical anesthetic such as Zingo.

Pain meds: Feel free to request pain medicine for your pride and joy. Little known fact: Asking the E.R. intake personnel (receptionist) for pain medication can sometimes fast-track junior’s case (translation: she’ll get to see the doctor sooner).

Honesty: Tell your child what to expect, and tell the truth — you want her to trust you. If a needle is in her future, say, “You’ll feel a little stick, and it will last as long as it takes to say your name.” Draw pictures to help explain what’s happening: If your child is getting stitches, sketch out a set of railroad tracks and tell her how it will bring the two sides of the wound together.

Scope it out: Not all emergency rooms are created equal. Some are staffed with pediatricians and have a kid-friendly waiting room; others do not. It pays to do your research before an emergency happens. Call or visit the E.R. and find out if they have pediatricians, a pediatric intensive care unit and child life specialists.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Brooke Shields thinks Change is Strange is "great"

I recently received a really nice thank you note from Brooke Shields for the Change Is Strange book series. She was given the book series by Access Hollywood as a present after a guest appearance on the show. This is what she said..."Thank you so much for the wonderful books. It is true that change is scary and your books are a great way to help during transition of any kind." Jennifer Garner and Natalie Morales will soon receive the "we're having a baby" book for Violet and Josh. Let's hope they like them as much as Brooke !
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Monday, September 22, 2008

Preparing your child to become a big brother or sister

So, you’re belly has begun to swell and your child is starting to understand that there is another baby on the way. In most instances, this news is greeted with both sadness and delight. One minute, your child can’t wait to be a big brother or sister and the next instant, they are throwing a tantrum and angry at the thought of sharing all the attention. Sibling rivalry usually starts right after, (or even before) the arrival of the second child. The older child often becomes aggressive, “acts out” or even regresses. It’s important to prepare your older child when you know you are expecting a new baby. Kids need to know what to expect, and they need time to adjust. So what is a pregnant, hormonal mother to do?

There are a number of things you can do to make the transition easier on your child. The first and most important of tasks is to include your child in the process of having a baby. Allow your child to “own the role” of being a big brother or big sister. Allow your child to pick out something special for the new baby like a toy or decoration for the baby’s room.

Discuss changes that will occur ahead of time. Let your child know about the things that will be different so there are no big surprises once the baby arrives.

Check with your hospital to see if they offer sibling tours or classes designed to help your little one adjust to the transition.

Tape a picture of your child to the baby’s crib. It will help make the big sister or big brother feel important.

Always include your child in helping with the baby so they don’t feel left out and most importantly, set aside special time every day to focus on your child. Giving your older attention and focus will make him (or her) feel loved and reassured.

A mixed reaction to the new baby is normal and to be expected, so take a deep breath and give yourself a break! As we all know by now, Change Is always strange at first!
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008


WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!!! 5 titles and four years later, Change Is Strange wants to know how to grow with you and your children. We want to know about your “transition challenges”. We want to hear about the good, the bad and the ugly. The more we talk with each other as parents, the more helpful we become to one another. Raising children is a challenge. There is no need to reinvent the wheel every time we encounter a roadblock. To this day, I’m thankful to my mother for sharing with me the import of talking your children through change. She is the one that explained to me how important it is to telegraph coming events and experience so that your child doesn’t feel as though they are constantly dodging curve balls. I’m thankful for my friends for being honest with me about their spirited children, shy children, ADHD children, and all the children in between. I’m thankful to Change Is Strange for being able to help kids and their parents through some of life’s challenges, BUT we want to do more! We want more book titles, more personalization, more readers and a more active community. We promise to listen so let’s hear it!
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Monday, August 25, 2008

The First Day of Kindergarten

My youngest daughter, Charley, started Kindergarten this week. I thought it would be easy since it’s the second time around, but all the butterflies were there again just like they were three years ago. We did all the things discussed in the Change Is Strangee “The First Day of School” book. We visited the school, had play dates with future classmates over the summer, went shopping for school supplies the weekend before school started, and read the Change Is Strange book over and over. She understood where the bathrooms were in relation to her classroom and that Mommy or Daddy would be waiting for her everyday when school let out.
Charley was excited about Kindergarten all summer. When her older sister said she was nervous about starting third grade, Charley chimed in “I’m not nervous at all, I can’t wait for Kindergarten”. She feigned confidence and enthusiasm all the way up until the teacher asked them to form a line before entering the classroom…and then, out of nowhere came the face. The face that said, “are you really leaving me with these strangers? Can’t I just go home with you?” She didn’t actually say any of these things but the look in her eyes said it all. I had to stop myself from welling up and saying “of course you can come home with me! Forget this school stuff”. Instead, I held it together, told her she was going to be great and walked away.
Today was her 4th full day of school. She kissed me with a big smile on her face and ran into line ready to face the day. She looked as if she’d been doing this for years!
So, we did it. We made it through another First Day of Kindergarten and I would say we did it rather successfully!

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Friday, June 27, 2008

First Day of School

The First day of School can be quite a big change for your little one. Whether your child is starting pre-school or kindergarten, here are a couple helpful hints that should make the transition a little easier.

1. Try to visit the school and see the classroom before school starts.
2. Prepare your child for the new school experience by explaining what to expect. Explain to them what they will be doing at school, what time you will pick them up and what will happen once school is over. Answer all questions directly and honestly.
3. Go shopping for school supplies and explain to your child how your child will use them in school.
4. Read books to your child that talk about daily activities at school and address children's fears about beginning school.
5. Establish a routine involving both the night before a school day as well as morning preparation. Rituals and routines are comforting.
6. Once you tell your child you are leaving, it is important to follow through. Extending the good-bye tends to heighten anxiety rather than relieve it.
7. Never sneak out because this can break the trust between parent and child and make the second school day even harder.
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Monday, June 16, 2008

Change Is In The Air

It’s all about change these days. Everybody’s talking about it and many are even doing it.
From Barak Obama, to Gandhi, Al Gore to Dr. Phil, change is on everybody’s mind.

Change We Can Believe In, Be the Change You Want to Be, Climate Change, Cha..Cha..Cha..Changes!

Everyone agrees that change is good. With every change comes the gift of growth. But before change can be good let’s be honest…
At first... Change Is strange!

Help your children adapt to life's changes with the Change Is Strange book series at
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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

change really is strange

well, CHANGE. really is strange. In fact, it's stranger than I ever imagined. In September 2006, my family and I moved from Los Angeles, California to Boulder, Colorado (this explains why my fifth Change Is Strange book is called "We're Moving" and is all about moving to a new house.) Well, after doing all the same research I do for every book title, I sat down with my mother and co-author, Penny Asher, and wrote the book, then consulted with the child development specialists and put together a list of things to prepare my children for the move. We took the kids to visit our new house the summer before our move, showed them their new schools, introduced them to their new neighbors and let them help pick out colors for their new rooms. We had a going away party for their friends and handed out self-addressed stamped postcards to all the guests so the kids would receive mail when we got to Colorado.
Needless to say, the kids have adapted swimmingly. They love Colorado and have made the transition quite smoothly. I ,on the other hand, have had a more difficult time with the transition. I think I was so busy getting the kids ready, I was in denial of how a big a change the move was going to be for me. Having grown up in west L.A. and spent most of my adult life there, leaving my network of family and friends has been quite a challenge. I miss my comfort zone and routine. If this move has made anything clearer, it has re energized my passion for change Is Strange. Change Is Strange and that's all there is to it. Whether you're a kid, a teenager, or an adult, change is hard and confusing, scary and exciting and to be able to ease the transitions for people, is the goal and job of Change Is Strange Inc.
If you are moving and are interesting in a list of tips to help your children adjust to the move, you can visit and download the "helpful hints" page as a pdf file. Thank you, Ricki Booker


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Monday, June 26, 2006

Summer is here!

Summer is finally here and in full swing. Swimming pools, barbeques and beach days are a common occurrence. Schedules become looser, bedtimes less strict and the homework arguments cease to exist. But, before you know it, school will be starting again. In order to properly prepare your child for his or her first day of school and avoid August meltdowns, here are some suggestions on how to prepare your child for his or her first day of school:
1) Try to visit your child's school and see the classroom before school starts.
2) Prepare your child for the new experience by explaining what to expect. Explain to them what they will be doing at school, what time you will pick them up and what will happen once school is over. Answer all questions directly and honestly.
3) Go shopping for school supplies and explain to your child how the supplies will be used in school.
4) Read books to your child that talk about daily activities at school and address children's fears about beginning school.
5) Establish a routine involving both the night before a school day as well as morning preparation. Rituals and routines are comforting.
6) Once you tell your child you are leaving, it is important to follow through. Extending the good-bye tends to heighten anxiety rather than relieve it.
7) Never sneak out because this can break the trust between parent ad child and make the second school day even harder.
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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

checklist for getting your toddler ready for the new Baby

A new baby can be very difficult for the little ones. They can feel excited yet anxious about all the changes that are about to take place. Here are some suggestions to make the transition just a wee bit easier.

We're Having a Baby

1.) Bring your child on a doctor's appointment so he/she can see the baby on the Ultrasound.
2.) Let your child help decorate the baby's room or pick out a special toy for the baby.
3.) Talk to your child about the things he/she will be able to do with the baby.
4.) Buy your child a baby doll and act out what will happen when you come home with the baby. Let your child care for the doll.
5.) Discuss changes that will occur in the household ahead of time. Let your child know about the things that will be different so it's not a big surprise once the baby arrives.
6.) Check to see if your hospital has a sibling tour and/or classes designed to help them adjust to the transition.
7.) Take your child to see where you will be delivering the baby. Let her/him see where you will be staying and take a peek at the babies in the nursery.
8.) Tape a picture of your child to the baby's crib. It will help make the big sister/brother feel very important.
9.) Bring a small gift to the hospital for the baby to give to his/her new big brother/sister.
10.) Keep a wrapped present in the closet in case a visitor brings a baby gift. Then you will have something for the big brother/sister to open as well.
11.) Throw an "I'm a big sister/I'm a big brother" party.
12.) Do an arts and crafts project where you make a shirt that says "I'm a big sister/brother or "my sister's/brother's name is_________."
13.) Always include your child in helping with the baby so they don't feel left out. Make it their job to hand you the diaper, the bottle, etc.
14.) Set aside special time every day to focus on your child. Giving your older child attention and focus will make him/her feel loved and reassured. Mixed reactions to the new baby is normal and to be expected.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Change is Strange book series

change is strange book series
It's not easy for little kids to make big changes. Let's face it--change is strange at any age. That's why we have created the CHANGE IS STRANGE series, developed to help make life's changes easier for kids and their parents.
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