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Children’s Books about Hair Loss

Hair loss can be super embarrassing for many, be it through natural causes, cancer or alopecia. It is wonderful that there are so many books today that help build confidence and empathy within children, about being body positive in a variety of ways.

September was Alopecia Awareness month and we were honored to come across these books that not only raise awareness about hair loss and how it feels, but also help kids build empathy and inclusion within, for those who may be suffering.

Click on some of our favorite hair loss book covers to explore this condition with your kids  –

NOWHERE HAIR

The little girl in NOWHERE HAIR knows two things: Her mom’s hair is not on her head anymore, so therefore it must be somewhere around the house. After searching the obvious places, the story reveals that her mother, although going through cancer treatment, is still silly, attentive, happy and yes, sometimes very tired and cranky. She learns that she didn’t cause the cancer, can’t catch it, and that Mommy still is very much up for the job of mothering. For any parent or grandparent, NOWHERE HAIR offers a comfortable platform to explain something that is inherently very difficult.

My Hair Went on Vacation

This story is about Rosie, who lives in Chicago.
Within three weeks she lost all of her hair and asked, “Where did it go?”
Rosie loved to rock the bald, without even skipping a beat.
She happily wore sunscreen—not even a hat!—in the summer heat.
At bedtime, Rosie would tell her own stories with a smile on her face.
She’d imagine her hair going on magical adventures all over the place.
From a young age, Rosie loved herself and was not phased by her look,
So her mother decided to share her spirit to teach others through this book.
Come on this adventure with a confident bald girl,
Who tells us ”Bald is beautiful!” as she smiles with a twirl.
We hope this book can inspire you to love others as they are,
And to love yourself every day, whether your hair is near or far.

The Girl With No Hair: A Story About Alopecia Areata

Kelly looks back at her years of learning to live with alopecia areata, a disease which causes hair loss. This light-hearted story follows her from diagnosis as a small child, to coping with the social and emotional implications of her condition, to gaining the understanding and acceptance of her peers and teachers.

Who Are You?: Ella the Enchanted Princess

In a beautiful kingdom, hidden beyond the Enchanted Forest, lived a young princess named Ella. She was different from other princesses, Ella had no hair. She often tries to hide her head with scarves and headbands and doesn’t like looking into mirrors. Ella always dreams of one day exploring beyond the majestic doors of the castle. However, to do that, she must pass through the Grand Hall, but there are so many dreaded mirrors on the walls. These mirrors are the guardians of the castle, and will not let anyone pass unless they are recognized.

Join Ella on her first adventure through the Grand Hall! Why don’t the mirrors know Ella, and what will she have to do to leave her room and explore?

Mum, where is your hair? 

Join a curious child search here, there and everywhere, for their mother’s hair. Every page is an illustration of an imaginative adventure, taking the child on a fun journey to realise that their mother’s hair loss is nothing to fear.

The rhyming magical storyline features fairies, animals, mermaids, and pirates. The colorful illustrations and repetitive sentences are perfect to be read aloud or with children, allowing the audience to quickly become absorbed and familiar with the sentences.

Dad’s Bald Head

Pete’s dad has very little hair to comb. And what he does have looks a bit, shall we say, scraggly? Every day Pete tries to help him neaten it, but every day the hairs pop right back up. Well, this dad has had enough! One day while shaving, Dad just keeps . . . on . . . going. He shaves off every single one of those scrawny, scraggly hairs.

Pete isn’t sure what to think of his new, bald Dad. He looks like an egg, or a kickball. Not a Dad. As Pete’s parents help him to embrace this shiny, new, bald head, young readers will recognize the challenge of dealing with changes, big and small, in their own lives.

Shreya’s Very Own Style

“Shreya’s Very Own Style” is a story about self-love and acceptance. Though Shreya is a champion on the soccer field, the coolest scientist at her school and dances like a star, she just can’t seem to figure out how else to style her hair. After all, how would she explain the patches on her head with no hair at all?

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Cyberbullying During Virtual Schooling

With most children across the country out of school full or part time due to the pandemic, parents should be able to rest easy, knowing that school bullies won’t be lurking in the hallway or at the lunch table.

But sadly, that’s not the case. Even though youth aren’t physically at school, bullying can still happen. This year, they’ll be on the other side of a computer. A click away at all times.

While new data has yet to offer insight into just how much cyberbullying has skyrocketed, parents of children who are remote learning are feeling the pain. Now, bullying has taken a shift to much more serious topics, including masks, coronavirus, politics and social justice.

With the changes 2020 has brought, one thing has remained constant: being bullied is a traumatic experience for kids. With these strategies, parents can provide comfort and support when they need it most.

Tell them they did the right thing.

Kids are often reluctant to report cyberbullying in fear they will lose their computer or device. Praise your child for coming to you, but resist the temptation to ban them from online access (which can also isolate your child from supportive friends online).

Validate their feelings.

Listen to your child, tell them you hear them and that the way they are feeling is completely understandable. Be an active participant in the conversation while also providing a shoulder to cry on.

Assure them it isn’t their fault.

There’s still a stigma attached to bullying that somehow a child brought it on themselves. Tell your child that under no circumstances did they choose to be targeted.

Remind your child that they are not alone.

Were you bullied as a child, or do you have friends or family who went through a similar situation? Articulate those stories to your child so they can see that unfortunately, they are not alone (but by no means does it make bullying right).

Restore their confidence.

Pick out some of your child’s best qualities and tell them how it makes them special. Above all, tell your child that they are loved, worthy and deserving of the best opportunities in life.

After supporting and comforting your child — the first and most important step — you can then work on putting an end to cyberbullying.

Put the cyberbully on block.

Work with your child to block any messages from the bully.

Document and save.

Collect evidence of bullying incidents by taking screenshots of hostile interactions.

Report the behaviour to your child’s school.

If the bullying situation involves classmates, let the teacher and/or administrator know. Most schools now include cyberbullying in their school’s code of conduct.

Flag the incident online.

Many school-related programs and apps have a safety page for ways to report and block another user for cyberbullying. You can also report the behaviour to your ISP.

Seek professional help if your child seems distressed or withdrawn.

Cyberbullying is a serious issue that can have extreme consequences for your child. If you notice he or she is acting differently, contact a mental health provider.

While there is no “one size fits all” approach to talking to your child and taking action regarding cyberbullying, it’s best to keep the lines of communication open with your child so they feel comfortable coming to you for support and advice. School may look a little different right now, and so does bullying, but we can show our kids that it still isn’t okay — in any format.

First published on scarymommy.com

Lori Orlinsky is a multi award-winning children’s book author, freelance writer and marketing director who lives in Chicago. Lori is the mother of two little ladies who are small but mighty. Lori is certified by the CDC in Bullying Prevention and Response Training, and is an Ambassador for the National Bullying Prevention Center. At 5″1, she wishes her children’s picture book “Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All),” was around when she was growing up. Lori’s books are published by Mascot Books.

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Training Yourself to be Content in Any Situation

My glass is always full. There’s no place for MORE to come in.

Today, I said “No” to an amazing project I would have loved to be a part of. It broke my heart but as a mother, wife, editor, self publishing coach, blogger and author, MY glass has NO more room in it.

When we talk about health, we always miss talking about the mental till of what we all do.

When my son was born, I was depressed. It took me a good 27 days to realize the joy of being a mother. To come back to feeling myself. And no one was close because, well, they meant to give me the space a new family would need.

Today, 12 years later I know that I suffer from anxiety and have to FREQUENTLY course correct to positivity and what brings me to myself. I love being in a state of contentment than joy, since happiness is fleeting. I choose to be content in any situation!

Being content in any situation is however an emotion that one must develop. Without it, the fear of missing out can quickly lead to negative traits.

I have spoken in length in my book #strongrootshavenofear about my struggles growing up as an immigrant child, and the importance of giving each child their OWN value system and identity.

I can only hope my children know that the health of your heart and being begins with the small things that give you joy like coffee, a good read and time to yourself….

All of which need you to know WHO you are. And be okay with it!

Remember, look for contentment, not happiness. Steer back to your inner self for what matters. How do you teach yourself to do this?

  • Give yourself time to process the setback/failure/overwhelm.
  • Look at the perspective from a birds eye view.
  • What is it about US that we need to accept about what just happened.
  • What can you do about the situation next?
  • What is the good that came out of this situation?
  • Look at your life as a whole once again and what you have that you appreciate.

People think I’m a positive person. I’m not. I’m an anxious, impulsive, saying yes to everything, overwhelmed person who has trained herself to constantly find the silver lining. The project I said no to gives me MORE time to work on my books.

The time I have saved gives me more time to give to my kids. There is always a silver lining in the situation you are in.

For a positive outlook and contentment within, we need to only train ourselves to constantly look for the silver lining. Accepting ourselves as who we are. Understanding that our situation is unique to us and for no one else to get out of, but us.

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A Few Tips On Raising Dyslexia Awareness

October is Dyslexia Awareness month in Australia. Dyslexia is defined by Oxford Languages and Dictionaries Online as “a general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols, but that do not affect general intelligence.” 

Where the term Dyslexia came from:

The word Dyslexia itself, according to the March 2018 edition, volume 31, The Pyschologist, was invented by the German Professor and Opthamologist, Rudolf Berlin, over 130 years ago.  Dyslexia comes from the English prefix dys- meaning difficult, and the Greek lexis meaning word. So it means “Difficulty with words”. 

The technical definition as explained by AUSPELD:

“The definition of dyslexia recognised by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA), AUSPELD, the NICHD (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) and DSF suggests that dyslexia is:

  • Neurobiological,
  • Characterised by poor reading accuracy and/or fluency,
  • Often associated with phonological (and/or orthographic) processing difficulties, 
  • Unexpected in relation to the amount of effective instruction and intervention provided, and 
  • A contributing factor to low levels of vocabulary and general knowledge, as well as poor reading comprehension.”

Let’s talk about Dyslexia:

That is not a small definition but it definitely removes any room for confusion. Dyslexia was always presented to me as a reading and eye issue. Well, I am here to tell you that is one nasty-little-myth! (Many other myths have been corrected here with Dekker Delves into Dyslexia’s article about Riding the Dyslexic Unicorn to the land of myths!)

Although, if you suspect your child is having reading difficulties it is a good idea to have their sight and hearing tested. A new pair of glasses – see an optometrist! Discovering my daughter and son could not read the blackboard was not very helpful to their learning journey. Somehow they passed the starting school eye check!

Now, where was I… oh, yes! Sight issues are not related to dyslexia, it just makes reading harder before you start to deal with dyslexia.

The Facts:

The Australian Dyslexia Association reports that approximately 10% of the Australian population is affected by dyslexia. Unfortunately, when they consider figures from other English speaking countries across the globe they believe this figure, when undiagnosed cases of dyslexia are taken into account, may be as many as 1 in 5 people in Australia.

Recently in Australia, a phonics check has been set up for all grade 1 students in the hope that children with learning difficulties may be identified before they leave the lower primary years of school.  This year in New South Wales, Australia, will see the ceasing of the Reading Recovery program to be replaced with science and evidence-based programs using decodable readers and explicit synthetic phonics lessons.

This past month the Five From Five, AUSPELD and Learning Difficulties Australia announced “The Primary Reading Pledge”. Their goal is:

“To reduce to near zero the number of children who finish primary school unable to read by providing primary schools with the resources and training to provide effective assessment and intervention.”

Further details can be found on their webpage.

What are the signs of dyslexia?

If you think your child may be having difficulties with reading or spelling, what should you do? What are the signs it is more than your child needing help with homework?

Some signs may be:

  1. Reading at a rate that does not correspond to your child’s large vocabulary.
  2. Spelling may not make sense.
  3. Letters are not well-formed.
  4. Your child holds a pencil like a lifeline, and
  5. Once their pencil is in hand it appears they have totally forgotten the topic.
  6. Rhyming does not make sense (e.g.. asking quite seriously “Do cat and dog rhyme?” after a 20-minute lesson about the words that rhyme with cat.)
  7. Their teacher will often report them sitting quietly in class or acting the clown to avoid the task.
  8. Your child may have no idea they were shown the task the previous day.
  9. Reading aloud is a major struggle and they avoid it.

AUSPELD has further details available for parents of children with learning difficulties.

What do I do now?

If your child shows any of the above characteristics, firstly talk to your child’s class teacher. See if they are experiencing the same issues at school as working on the after school homework.

If so, your school most likely has a counselor to help navigate evidence-based reading support. If this does not appear to be making any progress it is time to talk to your child’s doctor or paediatrician. 

The first steps will be:

  • To have your child’s eyes checked, in case they need glasses, and
  • To have their hearing checked, in case they need hearing aids.

The next step needs to be discussed with your doctor. Sometimes they will refer your child for an assessment with a psychologist. Sometimes an Assessment may be organised through the school, ADA, or SPELD.

The final course of action is evidence-based instruction in a systematic synthetic phonics class. Many are available based on either the DiStar (Direct Instruction Method), for example, “ Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons program” (Engelmann, Haddox & Bruner, 1983)” or using the Orton Gillingham method of instruction.

Following please find two lists of Approved programs, prepared by Dyslexia Victoria Support (DVS), that meet the scientìc and evidence-based criteria for intervention for students with Specific Learning Disabilities. 

Thank you so much to Heidi Gregory from DVS for your assistance and for supplying the memes for this article.


Useful Contacts:

AUSPELD https://auspeld.org.au/ 

https://auspeld.org.au/2020/08/06/primary-reading-pledge/ 

Australian Dyslexia Association https://dyslexiaassociation.org.au/

Code Read Network https://codereadnetwork.org/

DSF – Dyslexia-SPELD Foundation of WA (Inc.) https://dsf.net.au/ 

Dyslexia Support Australia https://www.facebook.com/groups/DyslexiaSupportAustralia/ 

Dyslexia Victoria Support https://dyslexiavictoriasupport.com/ 

Five from Five https://www.facebook.com/fivefromfive/ 

International Dyslexia Association https://dyslexiaida.org/fact-sheets/ 

Learning Difficulties Australia https://www.facebook.com/LearningDifficultiesAustralia/

Reading Rockets https://readingrockets.org 

SPELD NSW www.speldnsw.org.au 

Spelfabet https://www.spelfabet.com.au/ 

Stealth Dyslexia Support https://www.facebook.com/groups/1826837860905655 

https://www.understood.org/en/community-events/blogs/the-inside-track/2015/03/04/stealth-dyslexia-how-some-dyslexic-students-escape-detection

Supporting Multilingual Children with Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, etc.)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/305597537177222 

Understood https://www.Understood.org 

References:

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: Author.

Google Oxford Languages and Dictionaries Online.

The British Psychologist Society. (March 2018). The Psychologist. Volume 31. A brief history of dyslexia. Kirby, Phillip.

https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-31/march-2018/brief-history-dyslexia

Dekker Delves into Dyslexia. Riding the dyslexia unicorn to the land of myths. https://dekkerdyslexia.wordpress.com/2018/05/19/riding-the-dyslexic-unicorn-to-the-land-of-myths/ 

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Remind Yourself That “We are Still in a Pandemic”

Someone asked me, “What’s your best way to get through virtual schooling and all that’s going on in this pandemic?”

I replied, “We simply need to remember that This is a Pandemic. We are just making the best of everything. People keep hoping for normalcy but that is never going to happen in these situations. The resistance to change and adaptation is the real cause of unrest.”

Let’s face it! Virtual schooling is not anyone’s first choice. It’s almost impersonal and the kids don’t get to physically meet friends. We all know there is only so much a child can learn through a screen.

But here’s the crux of why the older generation feels the burn the most. We adults don’t get any time to do our own thing, let alone breathe. It’s hard on the kids, yes but I think it’s harder on the adults.

For months and months, we have been together. The four of us! And while I have loved being with the kids, I have missed my life before. Corona free, guilt free, worry free.

The anxiety was overwhelming during the time leading up to the school deciding on virtual learning. I knew that is what I would choose, no matter what the school decided but let’s not confuse helplessness for willingness. I would be lying if I said that I am happy the kids are home 24/7. After all, it means I have lost all my me-time that I had dreamed of, when the kids would be at school.

That time in which I was going to better myself, work harder of my writing career, maybe get a job too.

My daughter had just joined kindergarten. She hasn’t even experienced a full school year. I haven’t experienced more than a few months of being at home alone, with both my kids in school. That bliss that I dreamed of has fallen through my grasp.

I miss going to Panera bread, enjoying a sandwich and working on my books. I miss my impromptu coffee dates with friends. I miss having the no responsibility feeling for a few hours a day.

And now that we are in virtual schooling, I can see a lot of what I had imagined to be true. There have been technological issues, signing out of class by mistake, not to mention the kids running to me as soon as I think they are settled in and now I can work. No matter where I am in the house, I have to keep my ears tuned to the kids waiting for them to shout out to me.

It is all extremely overwhelming. I miss a lot of what was before and feel saddened by what I seem to have lost. Something that has no quantitative value. It is a feeling of despair that overcomes me, every now and then. And it’s most scary when I start worrying about not knowing when this situation will end.

And yet, I am remind myself of the importance of looking at this as a – ‘glass as it is’ situation.

Are we anxious? Yes. Will there continue to be hiccups? Yes. Are we going to try look at this as an opportunity for personal growth? Yes!!! But even if we didn’t, and just barely got through with a reluctant smile, that’s fine too.

It’s been hard and it may just get harder. But we will all get through this too.

I didn’t think I would live through a war (Gulf War). I did! I never thought I would have an arranged marriage. I did! I didn’t ever think I would live in USA. I did! I never thought I would become a writer and publish books. I never thought I would choose the path to entrepreneurship and work from home. I did! My whole life I thought I would never have a dog. We adopted one last November and have adapted to our family growing.

I never thought we would spend almost 6 months just almost just my family and here we are.

This is after a lifetime of challenges I never thought I would have to go through. Humans adapt to any life!

When I was out of school of 6 months during the Gulf war, my mother didn’t make me study or take classes to “fill my time. “. I kept myself busy while my mother was busy with a 6 month baby and worrying.  There were bombs exploding around us at times so my mental & creative growth was the least of her concern. All my parents cared about was keeping us safe and healthy. We had food, clothes (well! I didn’t even have that when I went to India with just what I had on) … and a comfortable place to live.

Many of you will disagree with me that this situation is not comparable to a war. I beg to differ. Just because it doesn’t tick all the boxes, doesn’t mean it has not made us all feel the same anxiety. We have all oscillated between doubt and fear. Hardly ever admitting to ourselves the extent of our own anxious, knee jerk behavior or reactions. It’s hard for adults to put themselves first, let alone admit to feeling sad about not being able to put themselves first.

And that’s what we all need to remember. We make the most of the situation we are in. We are human, so are the kids. It’s okay if the kids slide a little. It’s okay if those kids aren’t getting A+’s . If they aren’t taking a lot of extra classes or clubs after school. Yes, it is difficult to process because often we want the world for our kids, but it’s also important to remember we first want them to be safe.

All we all want is to make sure we make the best decisions for our kids to keep them safe and healthy.

Whenever you get frustrated or angry or feel hopeless, remember your why. Remember that we are all just trying to make the best of a weird situation. Hanging tight. Waiting for the storm we are in to blow over.

Kids have been troopers so far. The fact is, they are much more resilient than us. All they need from us is, to have a positive outlook to take their cues from. So take those deep breaths moms and dads. Have patience and have appreciation for every single  person whose helping your kids have a semblance of normalcy.

So, whether you feel the glass is half full or half empty, remember to be grateful for the water that is there. It is what it is, till we get through it and then it becomes a memory to cherish.

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10 Ways to Build the Mother Daughter Connection

All mothers want to connect with their daughters as often as possible. Therefore, it’s important to have a special bond with your daughter – from her childhood to adult, and so on. Creating connective moments with your daughter will remind you to slow down and enjoy spending time with her, and just being there for her. Here are 10 ways you can build the mother daughter connection.

  1. Make Eye Contact

“It’s important to give your daughter plenty of attention,” says Brooke Gutteridge, a relationship writer at Australia 2 write and Writemyx. “That means looking at them – making eye contact with them – as you talk to her, and interact with her.”

  1. Laugh

It’s good to laugh every so often. So, why not do it with your daughter?

Laughter helps relieve stress and other storm clouds (i.e. arguing, dealing with conflict, etc.). Tell jokes or funny stories. Get silly. Laugh.

  1. Snuggle Time

Sometimes, we all need to have a good snuggle. Therefore, snuggling with daughter can be magical, and can strengthen your bond with her.

  1. Playful Responses

Sometimes, your daughter might complain or whine about something. Instead of snapping back at them, or getting annoying, why not try a playful response or two? Chances are, they’ll respond to those responses with the same attitude, thus winning them away from negativity.

  1. Small Moments Matter

There’s a time-long saying that one should appreciate “the little things in life.” The same is true, when you spend time with your daughter. Whether it’s a good laugh, going to the mall with them, doing dishes with her, etc., all of that matters. Acknowledging these small moments can help you reconnect with your daughter, and to strengthen the mother-child bond.

mother daughter connection

  1. Friendly Competition

Like playing games? You like a little competition? So does your daughter! So why not challenge her to minimal competition. Whether it’s playing a board game, having a pillow fight, or any other fun game. The ultimate goal is to have fun with your child.

  1. Just Listen

Sometimes, your daughter will need your special attention. She might be going through something, but she’s afraid of how you might react to it.

Therefore, it’s important to be a good listener. Listen to what your daughter has to say, and stay cool about it. This allows her to release all the tension that she might be feeling, as she pours her heart out to you.

  1. Be Supportive

As you become a good listener, you must also be supportive.

As her mother, you must be her anchor, and give her a warm loving spot to come and cry on. This tells her that her feelings are okay by you.

  1. Let Her Teach You

“Many times, parents can learn from their children; you don’t have to be the only teacher in the home,” says Alexandra Brady, a lifestyle blogger at Brit student and Next coursework. “Therefore, every once in a while, do a little role reversal, so that she can show you some of the things and hobbies that see likes to see and do. This helps you build trust with each other. Before you know it, your daughter will be more open to showing you how to do certain things like putting on makeup, or how to work social media like Instagram.”

  1. Show Affection

Affection is more than just kissing and hugging your daughter, you can spice things up in that department. Hugs and kisses in the morning, or when saying goodbye for school or work can make your daughter’s day. These kinds of physical affection lets her know how much you love her.

Conclusion

As you can tell by now, it’s essential for mothers to build a bond with their daughters. This special bond allows you to be in the loop, as your daughter grows up, and might have children of her own. Although every mother/daughter relationship may differ, it’s still important to make sure to keep that bond strong, because ultimately, mothers and daughters can be the best of friends, before anyone else. And, even if you have a busy schedule, there’s nothing wrong with setting aside time for your child, because chances are, she’ll thank you for it.

More ways to connect with your child here on our Magazine.

As you read through these 10 points, see which ones are right for you – reinvent some of these, if you’d like – and have fun with your daughter!

Michael Dehoyos is a writer and editor at Thesis writing service and Coursework writing service. He is also a contributing writer for various sites and publications such as Coursework help. As a content marketer, he helps hundreds of companies improve their marketing strategies and concepts.

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