Thursday, December 14, 2017

Shared Parenting: Equal Time Spent With Each Of The Parents Is Best For Children

Shared parenting, which is having two parents preoccupied with their children’s whereabouts, jointly maintaining responsibility for their care, and allocating equal time for physical custody, is the most ideal resolution for married couples who decided to lead separate lives.

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Sadly, the breakup of marriages yields unhealthy arrangements between the couples, influenced largely by misconceptions and fallacies about childcare. Young children are traditionally handed to mothers with the belief that the presence of a female parent is of far greater importance than the father. Hence, the latter just content himself with weekend visits. A research study conducted in the late 1970s in four U.S. states supported by the National Institute for Mental Health revealed that children and their fathers usually don’t get their desired frequency of times they wanted to be together.

This same group that initiated this research covered 50 studies of joint physical custody arrangement for children in the same country. The findings that surfaced are promising. One is that children who spend almost equal time with each parent, rather than live with one and visited by the other, have happier relationships with both the mother and the father, exhibit better academic performance in school, and demonstrate better social and psychological demeanors. Further, they are less likely to fall into nasty vices such as smoking, drinking, and drug abuse. They are also more resilient to stress-related illnesses and mental instability.

However, despite the apparent advantages of shared parenting to children’s welfare, it is still muddled with society’s gender biases, especially when it comes to toddlers and infants. Mothers are still preferred to take the upper hand in caring for them, and that their development might be jeopardized if left in the care of their fathers.

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As derived from studies of single parenting, fathers are very sensitive and can learn to read their baby’s signals and respond accurately. In fact, in some areas of learning such as language development, fathers may even be more effective. Both mother and father can have the same perseverance in hurdling challenging problems.

New York resident Joseph Cianciotto shares some of his fond moments with family on Instagram. For more insightful reads about family life, visit this blog.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Are Your Children Ready For a Pet?

The temptation to adopt a cute, furry friend is strong among young children. But how does one know that the family is ready for pet ownership, and it won’t lead to major problems for them or neglect or abandonment for the animal? Here are some factors to consider.

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Child’s comfort around animals

Getting a pet won’t cure fear of animals, and a fearful child is more likely to make mistakes around pets. Build up their comfort level before getting a pet by visiting an animal shelter or spending time with friends’ pets.

Child’s sense of responsibility and respect for animals

The ability to take care of current responsibilities can show a child’s readiness in pet care. At the same time, a show of respect for guidance on appropriate pet handling and behavior around them is a good indicator that they are ready for a new friend.

Child’s energy level

Children who love to run around in the yard, play in the park, or help out with chores likely have the need to get all the extra energy out. A pet might be helpful and fun to have!

A trial run in the household

If the children and family do well in dog-sitting over the weekend or having animals around, it could be a good sign that pets may be a good addition to the household.

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Rules, rules, rules

Not all families live in houses with a yard; some reside in apartments or condominiums governed by rules on pet ownership. Some buildings do not allow pets at all. Learn the rules first, put it to heart, and make young kids understand what can and cannot be done when it comes to having pets.

Joseph Cianciotto has a degree in Visual Communications from Carnegie Mellon University and currently resides in Long Island, New York with his wife and daughters. For similar reads, click here.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Encouraging children to do household chores

Most children have a natural inclination to productivity and creativity, and parents could find means to channel this drive into household chores. 

Household chores benefit children in different ways. For example, it allows them to feel that they play a role in something larger than themselves. It can also teach them that family members should help one another, as well as the value of responsibility. 

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Unfortunately, for many of these children, household chores can be a drag, which is why they would rather do anything else than help in the home. Technology has also had a hand in more and more kids resisting doing chores. 

Some parents would resort to coercive tactics to get children to obey. However, this could diminish the message household chores were meant to instill in children. 

The same can be said on monetary enticement, as kids might get the wrong idea that doing chores only means that they gain something from it – rather than them learning the meaning of responsibility and being part of the bigger picture. An argument, though, can be made for this “reward system” as it could help impart the value of money and hard work to children. 

There are also other ways to encourage children to be involved in the house, such as making it like playtime for younger kids, including chores as part of their daily routine, switching up routines, and finding out where they are good at and more. 

Moreover, parents should avoid associating punishment with household chores. For example, when they misbehave or do something wrong, chores should not be meted out as a penalty, if possible. The only time this is probably appropriate is if a child does something wrong to his sibling and to make amends, he is given the sibling’s assigned tasks. 

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Harvest Festivals In New York Families Can Enjoy

For three months every year, people can get to enjoy harvest festivals that are held only during the fall season. For parents, this is a chance to create lasting memories with their young children. There are dozens of harvest festivals in New York, and some of the best kid-friendly ones are discussed below:

Jefferson Market Garden Children’s Harvest Festival

No other fruit best represents fall than pumpkin. And in this harvest festival, children can get to enjoy decorating pumpkins that could even be larger than them. There are also other seasonal arts and crafts they could take part in during this festival.

Amazing Maize Maze

Every year, the American Maze Company creates a labyrinth at the Queen Country Farm Museum that can stretch over two miles. The themes also change year to year, making it a great annual tradition for adventurous families.


Autumn Moon Cultural Festival and Lantern Parade

Celebrating one of the most important holidays in the Chinese calendar, families can bask in cultural activities, do arts and crafts, enjoy traditional Asian music and dance, taste mooncakes, and so much more. The event is culminated by a lantern parade that is exclusive for children.

Pickle Day

Those who want a change of scenery – from orange to green – can instead celebrate Pickle Day at the Lower East Side. The harvest festival features pickle picking, live music, and other various activities.
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Family staycation ideas in New York

For families who want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of life, a vacation is definitely in order. But there are those who find planning for a trip, particularly abroad, a bit stressful because there are too many details or itineraries to consider. Moreover, the cost of cross-country or international travel, hotel booking, and food can be too high for their taste. 

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As an alternative, staycations are earning the favor of families. The idea is to stay at their own home then visit local attractions, including amusement parks, tourist spots, and more. They could even choose to book a hotel nearby. 

In New York, there are plenty locales offering fun-filled family staycations, such as the following:

Upper West Side or Upper East Side 

Two of the most kid-friendly places in Manhattan, there are lots of activities families can enjoy in either side of Central Park – from visiting zoos, playgrounds, and museums to relishing tasty comfort food in restaurants, cafes, or food carts. 

Long Island City 

The Westernmost neighborhood of the Queens borough is a known haven for families. Not only is it home to great kid-friendly food choices, there is a handful of museums and parks that both adults and children would enjoy. There is also the City Ice Pavilion, a 33,000-square-foot skating surface. 


Previously written as TriBeCa, this neighborhood is ideal for families who want to spend a quiet and relaxing weekend together. Families can either go to Washington Market Park or Hudson River Park, or experience inventive entertainment at Brooklyn Robot Foundry. 

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Depicting New York's Private And Public Lives In Comics

The depictions of New York in comics, particularly in the highly recognizable story arcs, issues, and books produced by the two large comics enterprises, Marvel and DC, can yield many intersecting complex realities and realizations about the public representation of the city and the interesting private lives that make it the living, breathing thing that it is.

New York City, for the most part, is always well represented because of the exciting adventures, trials, and secret private lives of Marvel superheroes from Spider-Man to the Avengers to Daredevil or Dr. Strange. Traversing the boroughs from Queens to Manhattan, one can find ample images of the Big Apple.

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There is a stark realism to Marvel’s depiction of New York as opposed to its literary reimagining in DC’s comics. The representational force of Marvel’s use of urban spaces as reflected in the comics almost effectively eliminates the barrier between reality and fiction. People still recognize that these are fictional and do not really start questioning reality.

The escape to the fictional world, though, becomes even easier, and the identification with characters, their plight, challenges, and immediate surroundings becomes instantaneous. In DC, the wall provided by people’s heightened literary awareness of the alternate world, whether it’s the Metropolis or Gotham, creates a cerebral, more reflective (even poetic) relationship with those stories.

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The reader ultimately pursues a relationship with the literary world by making necessary comparisons to their veridical world. For New Yorkers, comics can provide multifaceted pictures of one of the greatest places on earth where fictional and real heroes thrive, roam, and live exemplary lives.

New York resident Joseph Cianciotto obtained his degree in Visual Communications from Carnegie Mellon University. He has most recently served as executive creative director at Translation. Over the years, he has worked with many major brands, with his work receiving recognition at Cannes, the One Show, the ANDY's, Clio's, Effies, Webby's, AICP and NY Festivals. To learn more about his inclinations, visit this blog.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How To Handle a Child’s First Crush

Like paying taxes, your child’s first crush is one of life’s realities that you have to deal with as a parent.It could happen so suddenly for you that you don’t realize that the years have gone by and the baby you adore so much is just that: no longer a baby.

Here are some ways you can deal with your child’s first crush.


Look for signs: Being giggly about someone of the opposite sex, getting interested in romantic plots of movies, or adding marriage in pretend play can be some clues that your kid is developing a crush.

Gather information: Instead of evading the subject altogether, why not squeeze out every last detail? Start with general questions and take your child’s lead. To make him or her comfortable opening up to you, try not to laugh or chuckle, or dismiss the child’s feelings.

Determine if the crush is mutual: Ask your daughter if she thinks that boy in her class feels the same way about her. If she doesn’t, then explain the importance of respecting the other person’s feelings. If your son says the same, let him know it’s okay and they can remain friends.

Set boundaries: Crushes are usually just crushes: writing cute notes, hanging out at recess together, or even a peck on the cheek. Experts believe these behaviors may have nothing to do with sexuality yet, but you can broach the idea of boundaries, such as telling your child that playing together is cool, but kissing isn’t.

Heal hurt feelings: If your child doesn’t seem to get over early infatuation quickly, discuss it with them, and share your own childhood experience to make the child feel that it’s perfectly normal to have those emotions.

A graduate of Carnegie Mellon in 1995, Joseph Cianciotto has been working in the digital space for more than 20 years. He currently resides in Long Island, New York, with his wife Jen and daughters Hannah and Sophie. Read more about parenting on this blog.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Parental Guidance: How To Monitor The Children's TV Time

Watching television can be beneficial to children, contrary to popular opinion. By tuning in to the TV, children can learn about a wide range of subjects, and explore places, animals, or things that they normally do not see. There are TV shows that can pique their interest and encourage them to engage in new activities.

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They can also be motivated to read books, as plenty movies and TV shows are based on literature.
However, when the time spent by kids in front of the TV is not monitored properly by parents, it can be detrimental to the children’s wellbeing. Excessive TV time has been linked to behavioral problems, such ADD, hyperactivity, aggression, and inclination to violence, and health risks, including obesity.

Parents play an important role in making sure that watching TV is a positive and productive experience for the children, and not harmful.

There should be a schedule set for watching. The TV should be turned off during family meals and study time to avoid distractions during these activities. There must also be a limit on the amount of TV viewing every day and week.

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The parents should also approve programs the children should watch, to make sure that the shows meet the developmental needs of the kids.

It is also recommended that parents watch together with their kids, especially when they are still toddlers, so if a need for discussion arises, the parents can immediately have a discourse with the children.

Joseph Cianciotto is a digital media executive and a loving husband and father. Visit this Google+ page for more advice about parenting.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Molding Children With An Unexpected Art

Many parents don’t realize all the psychological advantages their kids could have when they’re exposed at an early age to art. Now, there is an art that can enhance a child’s both mental and physical strength, and it has been right under the noses of parents for the longest time. This is martial arts.

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Having kids train in martial arts at a young age passes on teachings that have served countless other children from previous generations, and have molded them into exemplary individuals. Invaluable qualities such as discipline and patience are instilled in a child. They are instructed to stay still, and to move only when told to. They have to listen to everything their masters say. And they need to do this in order to reach the next level, and earn that next belt.

Other priceless values children learn from martial arts are self-confidence and a healthy respect for themselves and other human beings. They get self-confidence when they achieve a higher ranking in their respective arts. And when they know the hardships they, and their peers have to endure, they develop a camaraderie with each other. They recognize each other’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as accomplishments. Children form bonds not just with other kids, with their instructors.

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Joseph Cianciotto is a digital media executive who stresses the importance of balancing work and spending quality time with the family. Learn more about family-oriented activities by visiting thispage.