Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mother's Day Special: Foster Parenting and Adoption

One of the most celebrated occasions around the world is the mother's day, where we give honors to all the mothers, may it be our sisters, grandmoms, teachers, friends, and every women who've given birth to someone to call them mother. Motherhood is not only achieved by giving birth to a child, it can also be achieved  by taking care of a child, clothing him, bathing him, feeding him, giving him a mother's love even if the child didn't came from that woman's womb. This is called Foster Parenting or adoption. Foster parenting or foster care is temporary family care given to toddlers, babies, or minors who were abandoned, abused, neglected, or surrendered by their family to a child care institution. Adoption is the process of acquiring or assuming the parental care of a child, rights and responsibilities, and filiation from the biological parents. The Department of Social Welfare and Development sets some requirements, and assists the families who would like to be a foster family or those who would like to adopt a child. The would-be foster family should be licensed as required by the law.

Some married woman who are unfortunate to have their own children because of certain circumstances resort to foster parenting and adoption to fulfill the need of giving a motherly love to a child, to nurture him, care for him, and call him their own. There are a lot of children especially toddlers and infants, who were abandoned by their families in shelters, churches, and some were left to die out in the cold weather, in dirty and filthy garbage bags. These children were not only deprived of love from the parents but were also deprived of the right to live happily and become a part of the society.

Fortunately, there are families who are willing to give love to these less fortunate children, treat the children as their own and give these kids the feeling of having a caring and loving family permanently, or until the time when the children will be moved to their adoptive parents. Here is a list of child care institutions that accepts volunteers and foster parents, should you feel that you have the "calling" and compassion to the orphaned children, or if you would like to donate and give help in keeping these children in proper care.

Every one of us, especially women, married or not, have a "Child care experience" or none, could be a mother to a child. It is true that the children are the hope of the future but it's in our hands, to shape the children's character and how will he become the hope of the future. Our guidance, love, affection, and nourishment will be the most important tools in rearing our children to become a good citizen of the country, to become moral and compassionate individuals, and to become the best parents for their own children. HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO ALL!


credits: http://www.qsl.net (image)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

PARENTING 101: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a set of characteristic symptoms that develops after being directly or indirectly exposed to a traumatic or terrifying event where a physical harm was threatened, witnessed, or actually experienced. It can also occur after an unexpected or violent death of a family member or a close friend, or after a serious harm or threat of death or injury to a loved one. the people with PTSD often avoid any situations that will remind them of the trauma, but often re-experience the affliction through flashbacks, memories, nightmares, or frightening thoughts especially when they are re-exposed to events or objects that remind them of the trauma. They also feel the Survivor's guilt, the feelings of guilt of having survived the event in which friends or family died.


  • Assaults such as Rape
  • Fire
  • Physical or Sexual abuse
  • Senseless acts of violence (school and neighborhood shootings)
  • Natural disasters (flood, earthquake, volcanic eruption)
  • Car accidents
  • Military combat (often called "shell shock")
  • Witnessing another person experiencing these kinds of traumatic events
  • Diagnoses of life-threatening medical illness
  • Psychological/mental abuse
  • Negligence
  • Friend's or family member's suicide

Risk Factors:
  • Severity of the trauma
  • Social support
  • Levels of cortisol, norepinephrine, and epinephrine - Important for the "Fight-or-flight" response of the body to stress
  • The distance of the child to trauma
  • The parent's reaction to trauma
  • The number of traumas that the child experience
Signs and Symptoms:

Re-experiencing the event
  • recurrent and intrusive (unwanted) memories of the event 
  • distressing dreams or nightmares of the event 
  • acting or feeling as though the event were happening again (flashbacks) 
  • distress and fear when reminded of the event 
  • physiological reactivity (feeling jumpy, startled, or anxious) when reminded of the event 
Persistent avoidance of any reminders of the event 
  • avoiding thinking about or talking about the trauma 
  • avoiding activities, places, or people that are reminders of the event 
  • no memory of an important aspect of the event 
  • lack of interest and participation in activities (due to wishing to avoid cues of the event) 
  • feeling detached or estranged from others 
  • limited range of emotions 
  • sense that they will not live to graduate college, get married, have kids, etc. 
Persistent feelings of anxiety or physical reactivity
  • difficulty falling or staying asleep 
  • cranky, irritable, or angry 
  • problems paying attention or concentrating 
  • overly aware of noises or other cues that remind them of the event (smells, visual cues) 
  • exaggerated startle response 

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
 CBT is the most effective approach for treating children. One type of CBT is called Trauma-Focused CBT (TF-CBT). In TF-CBT, the child may talk about his or her memory of the trauma. TF-CBT also includes techniques to help lower worry and stress. The child may learn how to assert him or herself. The therapy may involve learning to change thoughts or beliefs about the trauma that are not correct or true. For example, after a trauma, a child may start thinking, "the world is totally unsafe."
 Some may question whether children should be asked to think about and remember events that scared them. However, this type of treatment approach is useful when children are distressed by memories of the trauma. The child can be taught at his or her own pace to relax while they are thinking about the trauma. That way, they learn that they do not have to be afraid of their memories. Research shows that TF-CBT is safe and effective for children with PTSD.
 CBT often uses training for parents and caregivers as well. It is important for caregivers to understand the effects of PTSD. Parents need to learn coping skills that will help them help their children.
Psychological first aid/crisis management

Psychological First Aid (PFA)
 Used with school-aged children and teens that have been through violence where they live. PFA can be used in schools and traditional settings. It involves providing comfort and support, and letting children know their reactions are normal. PFA teaches calming and problem solving skills. PFA also helps caregivers deal with changes in the child's feelings and behavior. Children with more severe symptoms may be referred for added treatment.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
 EMDR combines cognitive therapy with directed eye movements. EMDR is effective in treating both children and adults with PTSD, yet studies indicate that the eye movements are not needed to make it work.

Play therapy
 Play therapy can be used to treat young children with PTSD who are not able to deal with the trauma more directly. The therapist uses games , drawings, and other methods to help children process their traumatic memories.

Other treatments
 Special treatments may be needed for children who show out-of-place sexual behaviors, extreme behavior problems, or problems with drugs or alcohol.

The Parent's Role

Most kids will need a period of adjustment following a stressful event, so during this time, it's especially important for parents to offer support and love, and to monitor their kids carefully.
  • Let them talk about the traumatic event when and if they feel ready. It's important not to force the issue if kids don't feel like sharing their thoughts. Praise them for being strong when they do talk about it. Your child may prefer to draw or write about their experiences. Either way, encouragement and praise can help your child get their feelings out. 
  • Reassure them that their feelings are normal and that they're not "going crazy." Support and understanding from parents can help kids process difficult feelings. 
  • Some kids find it very helpful to get involved in a support group for trauma survivors. Check with your pediatrician, school, or local library to find groups nearby. 
  • Get professional help immediately if there's any suspicion that a child has thoughts of self-harm. Thoughts of suicide are serious at any age and require prompt and effective intervention. 
  • Help build self-confidence by encouraging kids to make everyday decisions whenever appropriate. PTSD can make a child feel powerless, so parents can help by showing their kids that they have control over certain aspects of their lives. Depending on their children's ages, parents might consider letting them decide things like what's for dinner, what to wear, or select a weekend activity. 
  • Tell them that the traumatic event is not their fault. Encourage kids to talk about their feelings of guilt, but don't let them blame themselves for what happened. 
  • Stay in touch with caregivers. It's important to talk to teachers, babysitters, and other people who care for kids with PTSD. 
  • Do not criticize regressive behavior (returning to a previous level of development). If children want to sleep with the lights on or take a favorite stuffed animal to bed, it's perfectly normal and can help them feel better. 
  • Also, take care of yourself. Helping your child cope with PTSD can be very challenging and may require a lot of patience and support. Time does heal, and getting good support for your family can help everyone get past difficult life events.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

PARENTING 101: Child Depression

Depression in Children often are not diagnosed because it is normal for children to be moody, feel sad and lonely especially in some situations where they feel disappointed, rejected, and unappreciated. The feeling of sadness often lessen and will be totally diminished with time, but when these bad moods interfere with the child's ability to function, lingers for weeks, months, or longer, or they always have angry behavior, that must be the time to seek professional help.


  • Having bad moods or irritability that persists for a long time
  • The feeling of "being in the dumps"
  • Low Self-esteem
  • The Feeling of Hopelessness and Helplessness
  • Social Withdrawal
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in sleep
  • Lack of energy
  • Inability to enjoy the things that use to bring pleasure
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Aches and Pain that don't respond to treatments

  • Lowered levels of neurotransmitters in the brain
  • Genetics/Hereditary
  • Death of a loved one
  • Separation/Divorce of parents
  • Breakup with girlfriend/boyfriend (teens)
  • Stress (School, Home)
  • Chronic Illness
  • Bullying
  • Disability

  • Many depressive symptoms
  • Social Isolation
  • Talks of suicide, hopelessness, helplessness
  • Increased acting out behaviors (sexual, behavioral)
  • Substance abuse
  • Increased crying or reduced emotional expression
  • Focus on morbid/negative themes
  • Giving away possessions
     Consult a pediatrician first to rule out any physical illness. If depression is suspected, your pediatrician may refer you to a Psychiatrist, a medical doctor who can diagnose, perform treatment, and prescribe medicines;  or a Psychologist, A health personnel who can diagnose and treat depression but unable to give prescription. It is important to seek medical advice immediately because early detection and diagnosis is important in treating kids with depression. The psychiatrist or psychologist can perform a complete evaluation and start a treatment plan that may include counselling, medicine, or both. The counselor might prescribe some sort of group counselling where the family works with the child in therapy.


    As a parent, it is our responsibility to ensure that our kids are always happy and comfortable with their lives, but there are things that are beyond our control. It often make us feel guilty and frustrated because our child's depression maybe caused by the things that we do or didn't do. These are the ways that we can help our children cope with depression.

  • Make sure that the child adheres to the medicine and treatments
  • Incorporate physical activity in the daily activities of living to alleviate the symptoms of depression
  • Talk and listen to the child. Let him express what he feels and offer love and support
  • Accept the situation and never tell the child to snap out of it
  • Watch out for suicidal warning signs at all times

  • Don't shame or punish the child, it can make the child feel less confident
  • Allow the child to make mistakes. Overprotection can be perceived as lack of faith in the child's abilities
  • Don't expect the child to do exactly as you say all the time
  • Don't force your child down the path you wanted to follow. Avoid trying to relive your youth through your child's activities and experiences.
      My heart goes out to all the kids who suffer depression because of the situations that they shouldn't have experienced at this very young age. Enough of the embarrassing, enough of the bullying, enough of the rejection, these kids deserve to be loved, deserve to be accepted, and deserve to be happy.


NOTE: The owner of the image here is a kid who suffered from depression because of her disability (she has a clubbed foot). As of now, she's recovering from her depression, she's into continued counselling which helped her a lot, and thanks to her mom, she seek for professional help when she have noticed that her child was feeling depressed. You can check out her blog Unbroken Skyscraper

Credits: MedicinenetKidshealthThe Depressed ChildUnbroken Skyscraper                                                     

Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Dream of a Vintage Wedding Postscript

In continuation with my yesterday's post, here are another inspirations for a vintage wedding. 

low loose bun with a crystal vintage-inspired hairpin
Sugar Rose Cake
Pink and Red Tulips and Roses Bridal Bouquet
Classic Ford Model A
A Vintage Gramophone for music

Hope you've enjoyed this round of vintage wedding inspirations. till next time!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Dream Of A Vintage Wedding

Photography by: Three Nails
One of a woman's dream is to have a perfect wedding. This is one of the important milestones in a woman's life because this is the day that she will enter the family life with the man that she love and she want to spend her forever with. This day should be the perfect and the best day of her life and this should be the day where she is the most beautiful woman in the world.

My husband and I tied the knot in a simple civil wedding but we are still planning to have a church wedding ceremony after a year or two, and for me, this is the perfect time to plan for my dream wedding: The Vintage Wedding. 

I've searched for vintage wedding ideas for the invitations, venue, wedding favors, make-up, music, and of course, the wedding gown. Here are some of the inspirations for my dream vintage wedding. These are the minor elements of the wedding. I will post the major elements of a wedding in the coming days. 

A vintage-inspired wedding invitation with mad lib rsvp card | Paisleyquill
Tea-dyed escort Tags 
Vintage Books Centerpiece (I want this because I love books!)
Heart-shaped mint candies in bride and groom tin can for wedding favors
A tightly curled fiddlehead fern with peacock feathers boutonniere for the groom
Vintage Guestbook Inspiration: Antique display table with gorgeous stationery for guests 
Brown Program Booklets displayed in a vintage wooden box

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Frugal Mom

When us, women start to build a family and rear children, there are a lot of things that we have to give up. One of those things is buying expensive stuffs for ourselves. I'ts not a sin to pamper ourselves sometimes but we can't help but think of our kids first before we buy something, especially if we're on a tight budget. We tend to just shrug off the urge to buy the thing that we wanted because we want to provide first the things that our family needs and put ourselves in the least position on our priorities. Though we have extra money to buy our stuffs, we still feel guilty if we choose ourselves first among our children's needs.

Because of this dilemma, I've thought of a frugal way to pamper myself with the things that I fancy especially clothes, shoes, and handbags. My remedy for this is visiting a local thrift store/vintage store or commonly known as "ukay-ukay"(in the Philippines).

Yeah, this may seem off but its not really that icky to use the things that were previously owned by others or "pre-loved" by others as it will feed our personal needs without feeling guilty, it is practical, and we can contribute in saving mother-earth, too. With proper cleaning and disinfecting of the things, it will be good enough to use it again plus, the things in the thrift stores are unique, we could actually find designer and original items, 50-80% below its original price (i actually found some c:)

These are some of the things that I bought from different thrift stores I've visited around the metro. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tips For Good Study Habits For Our Kids

Giving our child a full and good quality education is one of the crucial aspects in rearing a healthy and successful individual. It is important that we develop effective study habits for our child and assist him in his studies to improve his academic performance and enhance his learning abilities. We should check our child's work and study with him so we can monitor the things that he learn and provide him with necessary information if he have some questions that are not tackled in school. Studying with our kids also creates a bonding moment with our kids which helps in their school performance. Here are some tips in creating a good study habits for our kids.

1. Standard Study Time. Set up a regular time for studies and consistently, strictly implement it. This will establish our child's studying routine and homework habits. We can use an alarm clock or a bulletin board indicating a reminder of the study time.
2. Standard Study Place. Choose the study spot that is away from distractions like noise and television. We should also keep away things that could distract our child like some handheld gaming devices (psp, nintendo DS, etc.) and toys. Dont use the bed as the study spot because it may interrupt the child's sleeping habit since the bed is used for sleeping.
3. Standard Procedures. Help our child to plan the things that he needs to accomplish. Write down the things that should be done (homework, essays, research, reviews) so he can track the things that he needs to do and the things that he have accomplished.
4. Do the Homework. Some parents have the urge to just do the homework for their kids to get it done correctly without explaining to the child the procedures and the answers to the homework. We should guide the children in doing the homework so they would learn the answers and they'll have the idea what the homework is all about. We should teach the children some strategies in solving the problem and guide them to the answers.
5. Have a Break. Allow breaks between the study hours so the child could refresh his memory and will not lose focus. Long hours of study could be so boring and blocks concentration, and sometimes, it makes the child feel sleepy. Give at least 5-10 minutes break then resume after.
6. Be Organized. Teach the child to be organized and clean with the study table so his school stuffs will be accessible to him whenever he needs it.
7. Instill the importance of education. Talk to the child about the possibilities and opportunities when he did well in school. If his dream is becoming a doctor, tell him that he can make this dream come true if he will study hard.
8. Make learning fun. We can play word games and puzzles with our child after he have finished everything that should be done. This will make the child more enthusiastic with studying and it also help in the child's learning ability.
9. Standard Sleep. The child should have enough sleep because it is important for effective studying and memory. A child with lack of sleep will have poor school performance and dull memory.
10. Acknowledge. Acknowledge the child's effort after he finished everything that should be done. This will give the child a positive point of view about studying and will make him more interested. This will also boost his self-confidence. Proof read everything and help the child correct the mistakes if there's any.