Tactics for Tackling a Toddler’s Temper Tantrum

temper 1Even the best behaved toddler has an occasional temper tantrum. A tantrum can range from whining and crying to screaming, kicking, hitting, and breath holding. They’re equally common in boys and girls and usually occur from age 1 to age 3. Some children may experience regular tantrums, whereas for other children, tantrums may be rare. Some kids are more prone to throwing a temper tantrum than others.
Toddlers are trying to master the world and when they aren’t able to accomplish a task, they often use one of the only tools at their disposal for venting frustration – a tantrum. There are several basic causes of tantrums that are familiar to parents everywhere: The child is seeking attention or is tired, hungry, or uncomfortable. In addition, tantrums are often the result of children’s frustration with the world.Frustration is an unavoidable part of kids’ lives as they learn how people, objects, and their own bodies work

tempur 2Tantrums are common during the second year of life, a time when children are acquiring language. Toddlers generally understand more than they can express. As language skills improve, tantrums tend to decrease. Keep off-limits objects out of sight and out of reach, which will make struggles less likely to develop over them. Distract your child. Take advantage of your little one’s short attention span by offering a replacement for the coveted object or beginning a new activity to replace the frustrating or forbidden one. And choose your battles: consider the request carefully when your child wants something. Is it outrageous? Maybe it isn’t. Accommodate when possible to avoid an outburst. Make sure your child isn’t acting up simply because he or she isn’t getting enough attention. To a child, negative attention (a parent’s response to a tantrum) is better than no attention at all. Try to establish a habit of catching your child being good (“time in”), which means rewarding your little one with attention and praise for positive behavior. This will teach them that acting appropriately makes mommy and daddy happy and proud, and they’ll be anxious to do it again and again

 

The Basic Skills of Kindergarten

kinderChildren love to learn. In the first years of life, there really is no distinction between learning and play to a child and they get as much fun and joy from learning new things as they do from any game they play. So the years before kindergarten are a perfect time to use play time with you to begin their path toward conquering some basic principles that will be very helpful to them when they reach kindergarten.

Many children’s games and books focus on helping your little one learn colors, shapes and other basics that will be good to have a firm grasp of before they reach kindergarten.You can make a game of knowing the color names and you will be surprised how quick witted your child is and able to pick up not just the basic 5-10 colors but many nuances of color as well. The same is true of shapes. While a child may have trouble saying “octagon”, don’t underestimate their ability to learn the names of the various shapes of their toys and blocks.

You can use play and reading time to also help your preschool child get a good grasp of the alphabet, how the letters look and numbers and counting. These will all be excellent basic skills of kindergarten that will make the step into formal school easy and smooth for your child.In fact, it isn’t out line to expect that your preschooler could learn to sign her name and do some basic letter shaping exercises before she starts kindergarten. How great would it be for her not only to have these core skills and areas of knowledge well in hand before school starts but to be able to start with that much confidence that she is smart and ready for school? That kind of confidence translates into big time success for any student starting on a big new adventure.

Along with using play time in such a productive way, there are many studies that have shown without a doubt that reading to your child every day is one of the finest ways to get them ready for school. If you read stories to your little one and allow them to look over your shoulder, you will be surprised how many words they will learn to recognize just from that casual time of loving relaxation with mommy or daddy.

kinder 2But reading is also one of the best ways to improve your child’s vocabulary and ability to speak clearly and expressively.Don’t be surprised if you find your child with books open early and often because you took the time to read to her even before she starts at kindergarten. And that love of learning is something that will stay with that child for the rest of her life. What a wonderful gift.

If your child loves to run and play as is very common in young children, you can use that to help them develop strong motor skills which will help in dozens of ways in school. Hand eye coordination not only will help your child do well in gym and playing sports, it will help in learning to write and many other related physical dexterity challenges that she will face in school. By looking at many of life’s simple pleasures that you enjoy in raising a preschooler as also opportunities to develop your child intellectually, physically and even socially in preparation for kindergarten, you are giving your baby wonderful skills, knowledge and abilities that will pay off big when kindergarten starts officially when she is five. And you will be thrilled to see her naturally step into the formal school world so well and begin to succeed because you took the time to get her ready well ahead of time.

Make Quality Time with your Child Count

Juggling Career/familyIn today’s busy world, work, household chores and social activities all put a strain on your time with your child. But as you well know, it’s imperative that you spend quality time together. It helps strengthen the bond between parent and child, and lets your child know you can be trusted and counted on. Children who spend quality time with their parents often do better in school, and excel in extracurricular activities, hobbies or sports. And though it can be ‘scheduled’ to a degree, it’s something that happens when you least expect it. Therefore it’s important that you do spend as much time as possible with your child in a relaxed atmosphere and do things together that you both enjoy.

But you’re asking yourself, “Where am I going to find the time? My schedule’s crazy enough as it is!” Well, for something as important as your child, you need to start digging around in that crazy schedule and find the time. Prioritizing is the key.

Here’s some helpful suggestions on how to make the most of your time and find quality time where you least expect it.

choresLook at your household chore list and decide which ones can be left undone or be done imperfectly in order to make more family time. You might also want to consider leaving certain things until after your child has gone to bed to make the most of your time together.

Turn some of your everyday routines together count. Sing some favorite silly songs on the way to daycare, or make that drive to and from school a great opportunity to discuss what’s happening in your child’s life.

If you have more than one child, realize that each of them needs your individual attention. You may really have to juggle things around to make this happen, but try to be flexible and creative when spending time with each of your kids. And no matter what, don’t skip those individual times with each child. By doing so you show them they’re lower down on the priority list than the dry cleaning or the grocery shopping.pic 3 kids

Children thrive on stability and routines, so plan your quality times so that they can takeplace regularly. Maybe you can walk the dog together on weekend morning, take a shopping excursion together, have a scheduled night each week for a sit-down dinner together, or make a trip to the park.

Encouraging Play to Encourage a Child’s Development

child-playWe’ve all heard the term, “Oh, that’s child’s play.” It implies something is easy, frivolous and unimportant in the overall scheme of things.  But to a child, child’s play is essential to their mental, social, emotional, and physical development. We all know that children like to play. But what we may not know is the importance of play in a child’s life. Play is essential to every area of a child’s growth and development.
Play provides a means for energy to be put to use. It strengthens and refines small and large motor skills, and it builds stamina and strength. Sensory learning develops mostly through play. Play is significant to physical development in that without it the body could not grow and develop normally.

Children possess a natural curiosity. They, explore, learn and make sense out of their environment by playing. Parents and educators alike can support this learning activity by ensuring age-appropriate toys, materials and environments are available to the child. Play enables children to know things about the world and to discover information essential to learning. Through play children learn basic concepts such as colors, counting, how to build things, and how to solve problems. Thinking and reasoning skills are at work every time a child engages in some type of play.

Children learn to relate to one another, negotiate roles, share, and obey rules through play. They also learn how to belong to a group and how to be part of a team. A child obtains and retains friends through play. Play fulfills many needs including a sense of accomplishment, successfully giving and receiving attention, and the need for self-esteem. It helps them develop a strong sense of self, and is emotionally satisfying to them.  They learn about fairness, and through pretending learn appropriate ways of expressing emotion such as anger, fear, frustration, stress and discover ways of dealing with these feelings. So encourage your child’s play.  Color pictures, make finger paintings, build buildings and imaginary cities with blocks, and built a tent in the middle of the living room and go camping! And as we all know, childhood is fleeting, so let them enjoy being a kid while they are one!

How to Treat Your Baby’s Cold

Baby ColdYour baby’s cold can be just as hard on you as it is on her.  But you can help ease your baby’s discomfort and keep the infection from worsening by ensuring she gets sufficient rest and liquids, which would include breast milk or formula if she’s less than four months old.  Older babies can have a little water, and by six months she can begin drinking juices.

To relieve congestion, try squeezing some over-the-counter saline solution drops into each nostril, then suctioning with a rubber bulb syringe after a few moments to remove the mucus and liquid.

This works well about fifteen minutes prior to a feeding if it’s difficult for your baby to breathe nasally while nursing. A bit of petroleum jelly to the outside of your baby’s nostrils can help reduce irritation.

Sitting with you in a steamy bathroom while the hot water’s on in the shower for about 15 minutes, or using a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier to increase the moisture in your baby’s room should also help provide some relief for her.  A warm bath could also work, and might provide her some additional comfort.

Sleeping at a slight incline may also help relieve postnasal drip. However, don’t use pillows in her crib to accomplish this; the risk of suffocation is too great.  Try placing a couple of rolled up towels between the crib springs and mattress, or you might also want to try allowing her to sleep in her car seat in a slightly upright position.

Be sure to contact your pediatrician at the first sign of any illness in an infant less than three months old, especially in instances of a fever of 100.4 degrees or if she has a cough.  Your pediatrician can give you guidelines about what constitutes a fever in older infants.  If baby’s symptoms don’t improve within five to seven days, her cough worsens, she’s wheezing or gasping (possible pneumonia or respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV), or tugs at her ear (possible ear infection), your pediatrician should also be notified immediately.

Click Here To See Bril’s
Baby and Children Products

What is Homeschooling?

home sch

The term ‘homeschooling’ basically refers to the process in which one or more children of not more than 2 families are instructed by parents or legal guardians, or a member of either household. The laws that define homeschooling vary from State to State. The legal requirements for establishing a homeschool also vary with the State.

For most children, the actual process of learning begins much before school. Many children already know their alphabets, the names of animals, colors and other more complicated stuff before they reach school. This is mostly due to the hard work of a member of the family who has taken the time to teach the child. Homeschooling is just a natural progression from here. Instead of sending their children to a public school, parents make their own curriculum and teach their children in ways that best suit the child. This is homeschooling, in its most simplistic form.home sch 1

Before you decide to go in for homeschooling, there are certain important matters for consideration. First off, meet with parents of other homeschoolers. Find out the pros and cons of homeschooling. Then ask yourself why you would want to adopt this method. This is a very important aspect, as the success of the program depends on the clarity and sincerity of your purpose.

Next, it is time to consider the expenses of homeschooling. It may cost anywhere between a few hundred dollars to a few thousand every year. More importantly, you are also effectively shutting out any job opportunity for one of the parents. It is only obvious that one parent will have to stay at home full time to manage the homeschool. A home-based business however is a great alternative.Are you qualified to take on homeschooling for your children? Teaching is a continuation of your own learning process. With the advent of the internet, information is aplenty. There are various books and resources for those interested in homeschooling. Go through the various methods of homeschooling and choose one that is most suited to you. It helps if you know what kind of learning style your child has. Also, find out what your child feels about before you start.

Every state has its own laws regarding homeschooling.For instance, in North Carolina, you must first file a ‘Notice of Intent’ to start a home school. In this you have to mention if the school is a ‘Private church’ school or a ‘qualified non-public school’. The persons providing the education are required to have at least a high school diploma. You have to maintain an annual record of the child’s attendance and disease immunization. Every year, the child is required to undergo a standardized test. Each student attending the eleventh grade has to take a nationally standardized test. These are the requirements in North Carolina, but it is enough to give you a good idea of what homeschooling entails.

home sch 2

Homeschooling may seem like a lot of fun and freedom from the outside. However, things are seldom as simple as they seem.Homeschooling is a lot of added responsibility and hard work. But, if successful, it will forge a strong bond of love and respect between parent and child, while providing your child with the best form of education he needs.

 

Celebrate your Child’s Uniqueness

happy kids

Just like a snowflake or a fingerprint, every child is unique in their own special way. Every child has a unique way of feeling, thinking, and interacting with others. Some children are shy, while others are outgoing; some are active, while others are calm; some are fretful, while others are easy-going. As a loving and nurturing parent, it’s your job to encourage them to embrace their uniqueness and celebrate their individual qualities. 
Allow your child to express themselves through their interests. They may find a creative outlet in theatre, dancing or art, or they may be exceptionally talented in the sciences. Encourage them to embrace what they like to do, what interests them, and what makes them happy. Help them realize that they don’t need to worry about being ‘like everyone else.’
Teach your child to make positive choices, and praise them for good deeds, behaviors and positive traits they possess. Encourage them to become actively involved in their community, and introduce them to activities that promote a sense of cooperation and accomplishment. Be firm yet fair when handing down discipline for misdeeds or misbehaviors, and make certain the rules and consequences for breaking the rules are clearly defined. Show a cooperative, loving and united front with your spouse when it comes to discipline.
Accept and celebrate your child’s uniqueness. Remember that your child is an individual. Allow your child to have his or her own personal preferences and feelings, which may be different from your own.
And finally, encourage your child to be true to themselves by doing the same. Show your child how to make positive choices with the choices you make, and that nobody is perfect and you too make mistakes. Show your child that mistakes can be a great learning experience, and that they should not be ashamed or embarrassed about making them. 

Now he sits down, now he runs, now he is here, now he is not !

Cope-Hyperactive-child

I’ve often heard parents talking about how difficult it is to get their child(ren) to sit down for a project or to do homework. Back then, with just a toddler on my hands, and my only experience of homework being the one I did 25 years back, I simply couldn’t understand. Now, as my son juggles with “Integrated Primary Science” and “Communicative English” in school, I’m surprised at how much he learns everyday. One day, he came back from school saying he had to take 3 objects for demonstration on the concepts of “transparent, translucent and opaque”. Another day, he needed 5 fun facts on any planet ( he chose Saturn). While I truly enjoy doing these quick 5-minute projects with him, I wonder how he will react when these projects become bigger and take longer. You see – my son ( as most kids this age ) has severe problems sitting down to doing anything which needs him to think constantly on one topic for more than 300 seconds. We have spent endless days of school holidays – zipping from one game to another – Scrabble for 5 minutes, Monopoly for 10, book cricket for 3, UNO for 2, Colouring for 5 (you get the gist) – and still feeling bored :) Then, finally, I decided to take matters into my hands and “prepare” him to learn to concentrate on any one topic for 15 minutes at a stretch. Our project was the “Atlas” ! We took a big world map which he has and I asked him to draw each continent, write down the names of the countries with their capitals along with places of interest. While I painstakingly drew each minute country in Africa, he took up “South America”. To his credit, he drew each country neatly, coloured them, labelled them and proudly added it to his “map” collection. But all this was done in exactly 7 minutes and he refused to sit down to another. There went my experiment down the drain. But, I’m a staunch follower of King Bruce and I plan to be at it till I succeed ! Do you think I will ?? Do you think my son will finally learn to sit in one place and work ?

Re-published with permission from the blog of ParentEdge, a bi-monthly parenting magazine that aims to expose parents to global trends in learning and partner with them in the intellectual enrichment of their children.

 

The power of family meals

This blog has been contributed by Meera Srinivasan, our resident expert on health and nutrition.

asparagus-soupBeing a nutritionist I have always paid attention to what my family eats. But until recently, I was not aware that how they eat is equally important. Research has shown that eating together as a family is key to inculcating healthy eating habits in children.

Researchers at Rutgers University have looked at 68 studies that have examined relationship between family meals, eating habits and children’s health. Amazingly all studies pointed to a similar trend – families who had “meals together” during the growing years had children and teens who ate more fruits and vegetables, other nutrient rich foods and less of soft drinks. The research also indicated that they had a lower BMI (body mass index) than kids whose families did not eat together! Of course, this is not a magic bullet but with so many studies confirming this trend it will be good to pay attention to these findings.

So you may wonder about relevance in India – well the situation in urban households is no longer different, with both parents working long hours and juggling work and children’s schedules. Sitting down together for dinner in most homes is becoming increasingly rare and eating together has become a weekend activity and invariably not at home …

Along with healthier eating habits and lower instances of obesity, there are other significant benefits of family meals:

  • Dinner together serves as an anchor for the family, nurtures the sense of belonging. It is a time for everyone to share and reflect about their day
  • Conversations around meal time help increase children’s vocabulary making them better readers.
  • Children actually do better in school/academics!
  • Children become aware of current events and have better social skills. They learn to make conversations and also become good listeners!
  • Teens who eat dinners at home regularly are less likely to smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs!
  • As mentioned in the January 2013 issue of ParentEdge children learn by observing and experiencing and not by being instructed. If parents have healthy eating habits children tend to have similar eating habits!

How do we make it work?

  • Meal time has to be a priority for everyone – make your family understand and once they start doing it, the benefits will ensure that there is no turning back!
  • If dinner is not possible, explore breakfast and to start, target a minimum of three meals during the week.
  • Make the meals interesting, get the family involved in menu planning and if possible even cooking. Many children these days are showing an interest in cooking and we can be thankful to the Master Chef programmes!
  • Turn off mobiles, television during meals, so children understand you are making meal times a priority.
  • Conversation starters can be as simple as “what was the best part of your day”, “what went well for you today and what did not?” – and before you realize children are talking and telling you things which may be difficult to get out from them otherwise!

At our home we have dinner together and I find this the most gratifying time of the day!

Re-published with permission from the blog of ParentEdge, a bi-monthly parenting magazine that aims to expose parents to global trends in learning and partner with them in the intellectual enrichment of their children.

 

Come to the Library? Tell me why.

This post has been contributed by Vibha Kamat. Vibha runs the MCubed Library (http://mcubedlibrary.com/home.php) in Mumbai, along with her partners Vaishali Shinde and Sonal Bimal.

 libraryNandita came regularly to our library. Such a delight to see someone come and hang out there. I saw her lost in a book many times. She came to the movies we screened and participated in the discussions. So one day I asked if she wanted to be a member at our library. She looked surprised and answered with a question : “What does your library offer me that fancy bookstores don’t?” As I started to blurt out “…but – “ she clarified further : “They are even air-conditioned”.

I was speechless. I muttered something, I think, about the library not trying to compete with a bookstore, apples and oranges ; it sounded ineffective, even to my own ears.But that “but” stayed with me. And as I sit down to write, it makes me think. My friends and I run a library in Bandra. Why?

I think of all the children who come to the library to flop down on our cushions and flip through whatever they have picked off the shelves. And the parents who diligently bring these kids , happy that there is, at last, a library in the vicinity. Some of these parents don’t read themselves, but are keen that their children do. Other parents, readers themselves, take the chaise-longue (comfy, blue, inviting) – and never move!

Then anyone who’s 13 and above makes a beeline for the grown-ups’ section. There’s the teenage-new age version of the Magic Faraway Tree, – remember Enid Blyton’s Moonface, Silky, the Slippery-slip, the Lands that appeared in its highest branches? …Only here, indoors, there’s a sturdy little ladder that takes you to the most fascinating of lands – through the books you have picked on your way up to the loft. Books on various subjects, that catch your fancy….look around, take your pick. (cushions, lights, fans supplied).

And what about those members who regularly come and tell us which books they are longing to read? We make haste and buy them – then call and tell the aforementioned member, who is on our doorstep even before we hang up. Okay, almost.

But I still felt I had not found an answer to her question.

A library, I wanted to start a library. And she had just asked me why.

As my mind walked through the roomy room, I knew. I knew what a library offers you that a bookstore doesn’t.

It’s like your sister’s baby : you get to play with, kiss and make much of the fat dumpling, you take her out to the park, you listen to her stories and laugh and cry with her, you are her travelling buddy in her imaginary world and at the end of the day, you hand her back to her mother. Lovely…

A library offers you books that you like, lets you take them home and when you bring them back, it takes care of them for you.

A library keeps the dust off the pages, covers your books and gets new ones for you when the old copy is worn or torn. The entire collection is yours to read – and share. When you bring back a book, all fired up with what you’ve read, you may just run into another member of the library, who could not stand it. “Whattt?? You couldn’t…” Time for discussion, passionate disagreement, happy endorsement, new suggestions, leading you down the road not taken.

Sometimes, in this busy, noisy, ever-connected life, you need a place to escape. An island of peace. Home? Not really – the fruitwalla has rung the doorbell, is telling you it is his “boni ka time”. The loo? Not anymore.Your mobile is precariously poised on the flush tank. Then? Shangri-la? – you ask, disbelieving.

It’s the library – no mobiles here, the books need quiet. Calm. And so do you.

And lastly – remember we spoke about that baby? Well, the analogy still holds : when you fall in love with the baby, sorry book, and you can’t bear to give her back to her mother, oops, to the library, – ah, that’s when you need to get one of your own.

Then you go to that bookstore Nandita was talking about.

For everything else, come to the library.

Posted in 24×7 Parent and tagged books, hobbies, reading.

Re-published with permission from the blog of ParentEdge, a bi-monthly parenting magazine that aims to expose parents to global trends in learning and partner with them in the intellectual enrichment of their children.