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Curious Behavior "Toddlers are never little angels in public," says Ann Douglas, 38-year-old mother of four and author of The Mother of All Baby Books John Wiley & Sons, 2002)and soon-to-come The Mother of All Toddler Books. In fact, when her son was 2, he pulled the plug on the entire cash register system while they were shopping at a local liquor store. "He was magnetically drawn to plugs and outlets," says Douglas. "This is natural behavior for toddlers," says Robert Billingham, associate professor of human development and family studies at Indiana University. "Everything is so new, exciting, interesting and stimulating. They're simply responding in a curious sort of way."

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Memory For A Good Game of Peek-a-Boo! The game 'Peek-a-Boo' wouldn't be possible without this idea of object permanence! A baby laughs and squeals when Daddy's face reappears from behind his hands, because she's beginning to realize that he's still there, even when he's out of sight. Babies who've mastered 'Peek-a-Boo' have probably caught on to the idea of object permanence.

Susan Henrichs
About AD Kids Inc.: A Word of Caution! Although learning to distinguish temperamental traits will ultimately help you understand and work with your child's temperament, it is important to note that over a third (35%) of the children in Chess and Thomas' study did not fit neatly into any of the three groups. If you are confounded by your child's behavior, you might be tempted to assign them to one of these categories and say, "So that's why she acts this way, she's difficult." Doing this might initially assuage your confusion, but it can also cause you to misread or inadvertently ignore your child's needs. Labeling your child is also hurtful and counterproductive. Calling your child "difficult," "shy" or even "easy going" makes it hard for them to see themselves as anything else. Distilling the totality of a child down to a single adjective is like describing a smooth, gooey chocolate ice cream cone as "cold." What Makes Your Child Tick? Collecting accurate information about your child's temperament takes time. Carey suggests watching your child over the course of four to six weeks. Keep a notebook on hand to jot down what you see. If you are at work for much of the day, let your childcare provider know what you are doing. Although they are unlikely to have the time to take notes, they can provide important insight. When you are with your children, observe them in a variety of situations at different times of day; eating, playing with friends, watching television, doing their homework and, if possible, while they sleep. Try not to focus only on the behaviors that bother you. Adopt a neutral, nonjudgmental stance that includes your child's positive, joyful reactions. Some temperamental traits are easier to spot than others. "Approach/Withdrawal" or how your

child reacts to new penguins...I mean people... is relatively obvious. "Quality of Mood", however, can be less clear-cut since fatigue, hunger, or illness can temporarily affect one's disposition. If you are unsure about a particular trait, keep watching. Over time, patterns will emerge. After a few weeks, you should have a much clearer picture of your child's true temperament. AD Kids Information AD Kids Inc. Info Susan Henrichs Discriminating Palates: a.k.a 'Picky Eaters' Changes in eating habits at one year reflect not only changing bodily needs but also growing independence. Toddlers show definite likes and dislikes when it comes to food. This is a sign of their emerging individuality. Instead of pushing your child to eat a particular food, offer a variety of healthy foods and let your baby choose. In one well-known experiment, 1-year-old babies who were allowed to choose from a range of wholesome foods with no pressure from adults, selected what they required–and ate balanced diets over a month's time. AD Kids Inc. AD Kids: Figure out ways to let your toddler do things himself. There's no reason why your toddler can't put his toys away or feed himself -- he just needs you to help make it easier for his little hands and limited attention span. Use small, sturdy dishes and utensils so he can more easily feed himself, and place toy shelves low to the ground so favorite items will be easy to reach. These simple adjustments mean that your child can do more on his own. You may also want to consider having him help with simple chores, such as folding napkins. Jackie Hornbeck-Wall of Atlanta lets her 18-month-old son, Isak, help her transfer laundry from washer to dryer, though she's the first to admit that her little helper sometimes finds creative ways to assert his independence: "One day he grabbed his still-wet doggy shirt out of the washer. No amount of pleading could convince him to let me dry it before he put it on. So I let him carry his wet shirt around, trying to put it on, until he fell asleep and dropped it. I was able to dry it, but then he wore it for two days." Don't jump in too quickly. "Resist the temptation to always take over and do it yourself to save time and frustration," says Goldstein. Too much intervention can be just as detrimental as leaving your child to her own devices; it undermines her confidence and makes her reticent to strike out on her own in other scenarios. Parents often jump in when they're crunched for time. If you know your child is going to insist on wriggling into her own pants before you go out for the day, build in some extra time to let her give it a try. However, if your child is truly heading for a meltdown, step in and offer instructive help. If she can't get her foot to the end of her pant leg, say "Sitting down may help," and guide her to a chair. About AD Kids Inc David MacDonald,* a Hamilton preschooler, couldn't understand such questions as 'What is he doing in the picture?' or 'Where is the ball?' and couldn't respond appropriately. After weeks of therapy, involving play-based interactive activities, such as special board games where players practise asking and answering questions in a natural way using vocabulary from the game, David learned to reliably answer 'what' and 'where' questions, and is now working on 'who,' 'why' and 'how.'

What can be done? What should you do if you think your child has a speech or language delay? You can contact your local preschool speech and language service. You can also see your family physician for assessment and possibly a referral to the nearest service in your community. Sandra Seigel, a paediatrician in Dundas, Ont., encourages parents who are concerned about their children's communication skills to address the issues early on 'because it helps to tease out if these are just children who are a little bit slow at acquiring speech and language skills, but will catch up later on — which is the vast majority — or if there's something more going on.' Seigel feels that it is encouraging and significant if the child is a little bit behind in gaining language skills, but is gaining other milestones. An early screening helps pick up if there are other developmental delays such as social and motor development skills. 'A lot of kids do catch up as they get older,' says Seigel. Early intervention certainly helped with my family. It started the ball rolling, slowly at first, but with increasing momentum and now it never seems to stop moving. These days, I eagerly look forward to evening chats with my son. Sitting on the edge of his bed at night, I love listening to him talk about what new skateboarding tricks he's learned and what makes him happy. And that's a development worth talking about.

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3 a.m. Wake Up Call This same 'spot check' routine can work for a baby who begins to wake in the night. Often the waking is due to discomfort or a dream and leaving a baby to cry it out alone seems unnecessarily harsh. At the same time, you don't want your baby to learn that you are available for play in the middle of the night. Therefore, go in and comfort your baby briefly and make sure that everything is all right. If the crying keeps up, return to say a few reassuring words, but leave again. Your attitude should be 'I'd like to stay with you too, but we both need our rest now.' Parents who show sympathy for their babies' feelings, even while setting firm limits on behavior, make it easier for babies to accept necessary limits. And eventually a wakeful baby will find a way to comfort him/herself and fall asleep again.

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Just Like Mom Used to Make Some parents prefer to feed their babies homemade baby food. They feel homemade meals are better because they can use high quality fresh foods. Plus they like having their babies grow accustomed to the taste of home cooking. If you'd like to try making food at home for your baby, you can find books in libraries or bookstores with 'recipes' using a food mill or a blender–or check out Fun With Food at the Activity Playhouse.

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David Laurino: "If it was really bad, I would tell her to look at me in my eyes so we could

focus on each other," says Cox. "That usually helped. I tried not to correct her or have a reaction because she was aware she was doing it, and it bothered her. She would get really frustrated and even embarrassed." "The most important thing to me was to make sure other children were not making fun of her and that we didn't make a big deal out of it. Her cousins would ask why she was doing it, or they would laugh at her," says Cox. "Even though she was only 2, it would upset her tremendously when people laughed at her or noticed it." AD Kids Inc Info About Susan Henrichs About David Laurino If by age 2 your child rarely attempts to speak or imitate others or just seems totally uninterested in talking, he may have a speech problem or hearing problem. If by age 3 your child continues to drop consonants (saying "ea-ut" for "peanut," for example) or substituting a sound or syllable for another (saying "waining" instead of "raining"), he may need speech therapy or have a hearing problem. Other warning signs to look for: He avoids eye contact, has difficulty naming most common household objects, or hasn't started to use two- or three-word phrases. His doctor will need to evaluate him so both of you can plan the next course of action. It's normal for a child to go through a phase of stuttering, especially when he's in a period of such rapid growth in his ability to express himself; he's so excited to tell you what's on his mind that he sometimes can't get the words out easily. But if it continues for more than six months, or becomes worse to the point where he's tensing his jaw or grimacing in an effort to get the words out, you should talk to his doctor. News with AD Kids AD Kids: To Reward or Not to Reward? Another tried and true strategy is to reward good behavior, but many parents feel like they're bribing their child. Some experts, however, believe there is no harm in a little reward as long as you don't overdo it. Billingham feels that rewarding children is a great strategy because it teaches cause and effect. Douglas agrees. "We get rewards in adult life for good behavior," she says. You may be thinking that rewards could get a bit expensive, but they don't have to be. Barbara Polland, professor of child and adolescent development at California State University, Northridge and author of No Directions on the Package: Questions and Answers for Parents With Children From Birth to Age 12 (Celestial Arts, 2000), suggests buying a bag of cheap party favors and then wrapping them individually in tissue paper. When you're on your way out, tell your child that after he behaves he'll get to open the gift. But be sure never to give the reward if he does not have good behavior. Other inexpensive rewards can be activities that your child enjoys, such as stopping by the park on the way home or playing a favorite game. AD Kids AD Kids Management Firm

Off on the Right Foot Only a small percentage of children are born with foot problems, but by the age of 5, 22 percent of toddlers and preschool children develop some type of deformity, foot pain, bone malformation or other problems with their feet, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). The lack of awareness of proper foot care, which includes wearing illfitting shoes, is a major contributor to these problems. Many parents do not know how to properly fit their children with shoes. They simply follow the steps taught to them by their parents, who were also ill-informed. However, according to Tom Brunick, director of The Athlete's Foot stores' Research and Development Center in Atlanta, Ga., learning a new set of guidelines can make life much more comfortable. "It's just a matter of replacing some old myths and beliefs with a new set of guidelines," says Brunick. "Properly fitting shoes are very important for the overall health of a child's feet. Keeping these new guidelines in mind each and every time you shop for shoes will prevent unavoidable problems from occurring."

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You'll have to reevaluate these precautionary measures as your child grows. "Remember," says Altman, "childproofing is an ongoing process: The gate you put at the top of the stairs for your 1-year-old may become her favorite climbing structure when she's 2." Be careful when you have visitors, too. No matter how carefully you've childproofed the house, great-aunt Jane has probably not applied your standards to her purse. Aspirin and other items that people typically carry with them are dangerous to small children. Use caution with furniture and fixtures According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, from 1982 to 1986, hospital emergency rooms treated about 4,880 injuries to children caused by chests of drawers, TVs, and bookcases tipping over; 11 children under 5 died in these accidents. Large and/or heavy objects in your home are real hazards -- bolt whatever you can to the wall with L-brackets, and push items like televisions back from the edge or move them out of reach. Children start pulling up on things shortly after they start crawling. And when they learn how to climb, watch out. Some kids will scale counters, bookcases, and anything else they can get a grip on.

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Secure your windows According to the CPSC, cords on window coverings are frequently associated with strangulation of children under 5. The younger victims, usually between 10 to 15 months of age, typically are in cribs placed near windows with pull cords. A child can become entangled in a cord and strangle in a matter of minutes. Either cut off the cords or use cord shorteners or wind-ups to keep them from being dangerous. Here's a case in which a simple, inexpensive ($3 or less) device can save lives.

According to the CPSC, about 12 children 10 years old and younger die from window-fallrelated injuries every year; 120 children have died since 1990. And more than 4,000 kids are treated in hospital emergency rooms for such falls. Most of the children injured or killed are under the age of 5. Falling is another hazard associated with windows. Many people think window screens are enough to prevent falls, but they're not, warns CPSC chairman Ann Brown. Always open casement windows from the top or fit them with locks to prevent small children from opening them. Low windows should not open more than 4 inches. You might consider installing window guards, which screw into the side of a window frame, have bars no more than 4 inches apart, and can be adjusted to fit windows of many different sizes. According to new industry standards announced by the CPSC in June 2000, the guards must fit snugly, but not so securely that an older child or adult cannot remove them in case of an emergency. (The CPSC considers non-removable window guards safe for windows on the seventh floor and above.) They cost between $10 and $30 at hardware stores. At about $2 apiece, window stops, which prevent windows from opening more than 4 inches, are another option. And some new windows come with window stops installed.

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About AD Kids: Rhythmicity (regularity) Does your child eat, sleep, or have bodily functions (i.e. bowel movements) at predictable times of day, or does there seem to be little rhyme or reason to when they occur? Approach or Withdrawal How eager is your child to jump into new activities and to meet new people? Does she tend to hang back or run towards strange men dressed as penguins? AD Kids Inc

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