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How to be a Better Parent, using the Ideas of the Supernanny
(Discounted Edition) © Maria Lloyd, MFT 2005
Teacher? Diplomat? Accountant? Chef? Law Enforcement Officer? If you are a parent you are all of the above and more. It’s no wonder that things can get tough at times! Children are not born with manuals and they are not robots. Raising your child is likely to be both the single hardest thing you have ever done - but also the most rewarding. As a parent you are almost certainly the main role model for your children. They have no preconceived ideas as to what is right or wrong. They learn from watching us as parents. This is an extremely daunting thought; what we say and do will have an impact on our children that is long-lasting. Just remember that love and attention go a long way. Never underestimate the power of a big hug! That said, parents are human too; we have faults and we are not always in control. Fact. Just as you lose control, it appears that every other parent in the world is blissfully happy with everything in its place. This is not the case. Difficulties encountered vary greatly from parent to parent, child to child and age to age. More common problems include: sleeping, eating, tantrums and potty training, but this is by no means the end of it! From time-outs to sibling rivalry, this invaluable guide uses modern techniques to help steer you through the stormy waters of being a parent. Because parents are busy people, we have added a 2-minute tip sheet at the end of each chapter to give you the help you need, at a glance. Enjoy!
SUPERNANNY Supernanny Background ‘Supernanny’, Jo Frost, shot to fame recently in the television series ‘Supernanny’ and ‘Nanny 911’. Her follow-up book, also entitled Supernanny with its highly effective theories on parenting has captured the imagination of parents, in the UK and further afield. Jo Frost is a 34-year-old single woman, originally from London, UK. She has no children and no formal childcare qualifications – so what makes her so successful? Jo puts her success down to, “her own wonderful childhood in London and 15 years of bossing other people’s kids”. Despite her lack of formal childcare training, Jo has an unfaltering record for resolving families’ problems, both in the UK and US. It is her refreshing and down-to-earth approach that has made her a household name. It is estimated, for example, that around 8 percent of American households regularly tune in to see the nanny in action! Techniques Jo believes in consistency, firmness and consequences. She states, “Parents tolerate a lot instead of implementing a routine, boundaries and warnings”. Supernanny has a simple yet effective approach, based on action and consequence. With routines and resolve, Jo believes that she can achieve almost anything! Here are some of her top tips and rules: No spanking from parents No hitting, punching, sneaky nudging or slapping from children Use good manners No yelling, from anyone Everyone should listen to each other Everyone should speak respectfully and politely Children do chores Rewards must be earned
The Show Before Supernanny swoops. Any final words of wisdom from the Supernanny? “You place a warning. the families stand to make long-term gains – provided that they take responsibility for continuing with her routines and approach. to ascertain the issues and true dynamics of the group. . with her help. she observes the family carefully. Parents are shown how to set boundaries and how to enforce them. for a day or two. “to this day. parents are parents”. “Children are children. by the end of the two-week period significant changes are evident. have a consequence and see the change”. Supernanny believes that. Supernanny keeps in contact with the families that she has helped and states.Parents must set boundaries and stick to them Parents must show a united front Rules must be enforced. Jo herself says that the children often rebel within the first few days of her entering the family home. the families are still happy with the turnaround”. she presents the family with a schedule and a ‘naughty mat’. consistently Parents should share parental duties Everyone is responsible for their own stuff Sugary snacks must be rationed (and locked away!). however. As soon as Jo enters the home.
learnt from hands-on experience Believes in positive re-enforcement Children should be given warnings Consequences should be followed Stick to routines Offer love and affection to each member of the family. .QUICK GUIDE TO … THE SUPERNANNY 15 years experience with children No formal qualifications.
as it were. feeding on-demand type of advice offered by the British psychologist. Her definitive titles on parenting include “Contented Little Baby Book”. “Potty Training in One Week” and “The Complete Sleep Guide for Contented Babies and Toddlers”. which was translated into several languages. In recent years. Dr. with so many theorists all offering their unique methods and styles of parenting. with certain notable exceptions. Gina Ford is best known for her practical advice on establishing routines and identifying and responding to the changing patterns and demands of the growing child. Dr.OTHER PARENTING EXPERTS Expert advice can sometimes seem confusing. so many theorists have come to our rescue with a deluge of practical tips and parenting solutions. each with a great deal to offer. Penelope Leach. not through the clouded vision of a panicking parent desperate for immediate solutions! The secret of how to benefit from the wealth of experience that the experts have to offer is to pick and mix. Penelope Leach The child-centered. with her books “Babyhood”. No single theorist will have all the answers. to harmonious family life. followed by “Your Baby and Child”. Her theories have been . most experts have a proven track record of parenting styles that really work. hit the headlines back in the 1970s. over the years. feel instinctively will work best for your child. What we have to bear in mind. There are many more experts out there. as a parent. have had the luxury of developing their proven techniques from an objective standpoint. is that the experts. The following famous names are just a few examples of experts who have made a huge contribution. it’s up to you to develop the ideas that you. Gina Ford Fondly referred to as “the queen of routine”. when we’re tearing our hair out in desperation over our ‘impossible’ offspring. positive discipline approach.
Learn. understanding and trusting their children. as they arise. and updated to reflect the rapid changes in society and the new demands and challenges facing today’s parents. The main focus of his approach to parenting is that if parents understand why their children are behaving in a certain way. have stood the test of time. Jo Frost. Tanya Byron of the popular BBC series. in a rapidly changing world. T. Benjamin Spock It has been argued that the “firm but fair” techniques advocated by Supernanny and parenting guru. actually hark back to the child rearing theories of Dr Spock. Dr Brazelton has written numerous books on the subject of parenting including. they will be better equipped to cope with behavioral problems. . her book “Children First: What Our Society Must Do – And Is Not Doing – For Our Children” takes a broader look at the challenges facing the modernday parent. and her stance on the stay-at-home mother modified considerably to address the realities of parenting. both practical and thought provoking.adopted by parents. “Touchpoints – Your Child’s Emotional and Behavioral Development”. Her advice has remained. as well as by Dr. and Flourish”. worldwide for his practical. across the globe. Berry Brazelton Texan born pediatrician Dr. over the years. and are today witnessing a revival in the context of allowing children to develop their own strengths through parents supporting. is another enduringly popular expert on parenting. Brazelton. of what was considered in those days to be “permissive parenting”. He is recognized. however. More recently. today. When his book “Baby and Childcare” was first published in 1946. “Infants and Mothers” and “The Irreducible Needs of Children: What Every Child Must Have to Grow. “Little Angels”. isolation. no-nonsense style tips and advice for parents struggling to raise their children in times of stress. Dr Spock was hailed as the pioneer of modern parenting. Dr. Dr Brazelton is particularly helpful for the working parent. Spock’s theories.
This team of experienced nannies all have a slightly different approach to childcare. a registered nurse and childbirth educator. Bill and Martha Sears Having raised eight children. Despite their different approaches. have devoted their lives to helping parents make sense of how to bring up their children to be happy self-sufficient individuals. Jo Frost. They are living proof that not one single approach is going to be effective. Stella and Yvonne are the disciplinarians of the team and deal with unruly children using structure and firmness. a pediatrician for more than thirty years. Stella and Yvonne Together they are known as Nanny 911.Dr. all nannies set rules for their families and use techniques such as time out and positive reinforcement. Lillian. Their approach is largely similar to that of Supernanny. Dr Sears is probably best known for the parenting technique called “Attachment Parenting” – “a style of caring for your infant that brings out the best in the baby and the best in the parents”. and his wife Martha. in all circumstances. Lillian is the most experienced and takes a grandmotherly approach. Deb. Debs relies on sense of humour to win children round. Dr Bill Sears. .
Stella and Yvonne (team Nanny 911) each has their own approaches ranging from firm to supportive. who focus on raising self-reliant children Lillian. Berry Brazelton believes that it is important to understand why children behave the way they do Dr.QUICK GUIDE TO … OTHER PARENTING EXPERTS When it comes to parenting there is always more than one opinion No one expert has all the answers What works for one parent may be a disaster for the next Gina Ford believes that routines are fundamental Dr Penelope Leach believes in positive discipline Dr Benjamin Spock believes in “firm but fair” T. a husband and wife team. . Bill and Martha Sears. together they cover all the potential areas of parenting. Deb.
A 2-year old is capable of overwhelming emotions. He does not realize that he may hurt himself if he jumps from the top of the stairs. are the same and parents should be cautious of following age guidelines. Techniques aimed at a 2-year old may work very well with a 4-year old. Dealing with a child of this age requires you to focus on prevention. 2 years old We’ve all heard the phrase. ‘terrible twos’ – now. so don’t be a slave to the letter of parenting law! Under 2 years old A baby or young toddler knows little about self-restraint and control. sometimes only a matter of weeks. too closely. within the space of a short period of time. Capacity for understanding can vary dramatically. Take time to understand your children and deal with them as individuals. It is not uncommon for a child to have advanced physical skills. distraction and comforting. Dealing with a defiant 2-year old requires a very different approach to dealing with a defiant 8-year old! No two children.MAIN BODY AGE APPROPRIATE Milestones Recognizing your child’s milestones can really help when trying to decide how to deal with behavioral issues. He has the desire to be independent but . this is not a fallacy. however. among children. Anyone who has witnessed a 9-month old trying to feed himself will be only too aware of the frustration involved! A child under the age of 2 has not established the basics of cause and effect. but to be less advanced in other areas such as talking or reasoning. as you feel appropriate.
A 3-year old is also capable of benefiting from time-out. by offering him choices. don’t dwell on this behavior – it will pass. With the tantrum stage largely behind him. he understands that bad behavior can result in punishment. This can result in greater whining and sulking as well as other attention seeking behaviors. this should be confined to short periods of approximately 3 minutes. Make sure that he understands what you expect of him. Dealing with a child of this age requires above all patience. Explain simple chores and reward his efforts. Lying and exaggerating are common in a child of 4. if necessary. It is the powerful urge to explore his surroundings in his own way that leads to the infamous ‘temper tantrum’. but don’t count on consistency! Tantrums may well be replaced by sulking – quieter but not necessarily easier. he is now much keener to please. feel independent and yet also allows you to direct his actions. 3 years old Independence is key for your 3-year old! He is master of his own world. Consequences are now much more readily understood. give clear requests and incentives. This enables him to save face. However. Help him to understand his feelings by encouraging him to vocalize these thoughts. where possible. Avoid a battle of wills.lacks the capacity to keep himself (or others) out of danger. . your 4-year old will have a much clearer idea of what he wants. While it may feel like a relief that the tantrums are subsiding. A child of 3 appreciates routine and reacts well to being included in family life. Distraction is still the best course of action! 4 years old A 4-year old can concentrate for longer periods and with greater intensity.
A child of 5 is able to look outside himself. tell him in advance what is happening. is of course of vital importance. Allow him time to adjust to changes. where possible. however other issues you may wish to consider include: Age of any siblings Whether your child is in day-care part. Consider implementing a behavior management system such as charts with stars. Give your child verbal reminders for desirable behavior such as good manners and politeness. although not getting his own way may still lead to temper outbursts. He is better able to control his frustrations. Feeling that he is part of the decision process is fundamental to preventing him from losing a sense of control. Age. He is able to carry out simple chores and follow basic rules. This will help encourage his feelings of independence. Make rewards small but frequent. .or full-time Requirements of other family members Your child’s personality. as a child of 5 is generally unable to appreciate the benefits of saving rewards! Over 6 years old As his social and academic world is expanding so too is his maturity. several issues need to be taken into consideration.Control is fundamental to your 4-year old. Encourage this with appropriate rewards. 5 years old His understanding of consequences is now well established. Encourage this by asking your child how he thinks his actions affect others. He is able to reason and exercise a higher degree of self-control. General Routines When deciding on what sort of routine to set for your child. Offer choices.
For example. Jo Frost insists upon. during the day. as soon as she begins to work with a new family. every morning. If possible allow an extra half an hour. Try these tips to help you achieve a routine that works for you: A child under 3 will often nap at least once. As a child grows older. it is the parents’ ability to demonstrate consistency that wins with children. once you’ve decided on a routine. give him simple chores to do in the morning to help. stick to it! Creating a routine. play a game where you put a song on and challenge your headstrong youngster to finish dressing by the time the song has finished. is one of the first things that Supernanny. the night before. When your child is of school age. he requires less sleep (although this rarely drops below 9 hours). If your child is dawdling in the morning.As a general rule. in good time. encourage him to put his own socks and shoes on. Prepare whatever you can. Ensure that this time is kept as regular as possible and that the sequence of events running up to the nap are consistent. Alter your child’s bedtime to ensure that he gets up at an appropriate time for your routine. . A few moments preparing breakfast and getting clothes ready can mean the difference between a good and bad start to the day. to get yourself up and the house organized. So.
verbal reminders are key Alter your routines as your child’s age changes. watch out for the lies A 5 year-old is capable of taking others feelings into consideration A 6 year-old can exercise some self-control. time outs will start to be effective at this age A 4-year old can concentrate better and has a vivid imagination. .QUICK GUIDE TO … BEING AGE APPROPRIATE Every child is different and these rules are only a guideline A child under 2 does not understand cause and effect A 2 year-old needs choices to help prevent temper tantrums A 3 year-old benefits from distraction.
from an early age. Establishing a routine that allows your child to feel that he understands what is happening. A suitable routine may look something like this: 07:00 . and what is about to happen. does not mean that he should become a time tyrant! It is important that he realizes. . full time. will result in fewer tantrums and less sulks. that you have other things that need to be done. prepare breakfast Get your child up and give him his breakfast Wash and dress him and discuss the day ahead Enjoy sharing the morning chores with your child Visit the shops or park Lunch for both of you. experiment and practice until you find the right combination for you and your child. What works for one child may not work for another. prepare and tidy up together Quiet time or nap (depending on age) Snack time and play Play together (make sure that this is quieter play so that he is calming down ready for bedtime Prepare and eat dinner Bath Book and cuddle Bedtime.07:30 07:30 – 08:00 08:00 – 08:30 08:30 – 09:30 09:30 – 12:00 12:00 – 1:00pm 1:00 – 2:30pm 2:30 – 3:30pm 3:30 – 5:00pm 5:00 – 6:00pm 6:00 – 6:30pm 6:30 – 7:00pm 7:00pm Get up and dressed. Here are some suggestions to get you started: Stay-at-home mom Just because you are a stay-at-home mom and able to dedicate yourself to your child.DAY-TO-DAY ROUTINES Children like to feel comforted and safe.
A suitable routine may look a little like this: 07:00 . If your job requires you to make telephone calls at a certain point. fully. Do everything that you can do. Work-from-home mom Trying to entertain a toddler and earn a living. getting yourself and your child ready to leave the house by a set time.Working mom It’s a real challenge. each morning. prepare breakfast Enjoy breakfast together Make sure that your child is washed and dressed Leave for work / day care Return from work / day care Dinner Bath Book and cuddle Bedtime. Pack any bags needed. It may even be possible to arrange for a friend or relative to take your child out for an hour. everyday. in advance Get yourself up and dressed. It is not possible for a child of 3 to understand. in advance. during the day. under the same roof can be enough to test anyone’s patience! Adopt realistic expectations.07:30 Get up and dressed. it may be worth considering timing these with your child’s quiet time. Here’s an idea for a sample routine: Night before: 06:00 – 06:30 06:30 – 07:00 07:00 – 07:30 07:30 5:30pm 5:30 – 6:00pm 6:00 – 6:30pm 6:30 – 7:00pm 7:00pm Prepare clothes and lunch (if needed) for both of you. prepare breakfast . PREPARATION. If there was one word that could summarize the working mom’s approach to routine it would be. that you need to work at specified times. to give you a chance to conduct business conversations without disruption.
while you work Play together (make sure that this is a quieter type of play. outdoors. In reality. again where you can keep an eye on him. family and friends. Changes to schedules Once you’ve mastered a day-to-day schedule the challenges of maintaining a calm environment. so that he calms down ready for bed) Prepare and eat dinner together Bath Book and cuddle Bedtime. snack and play together Settle him with toys. Every child is different.07:30 – 08:00 08:00 – 08:30 08:30 – 09:00 09:00 – 10:30 10:30 – 11:00 11:00 – 12:30 12:30 – 1:00pm 1:00 – 2:30pm 2:30 – 3:00pm 3:00 – 4:30pm 4:30 – 5:00pm 5:00 – 6:00pm 6:00 – 6:30pm 6:30 – 7:00pm 7:00pm Get your child up and give him his breakfast Wash and dress him and discuss the day ahead Enjoy sharing a few simple morning chores with your child Settle him with his favorite toys within your line of view. with easy access. when away from home. this may . Some children are happy to busy themselves alone for hours. prepare and tidy up together Quiet time or nap (depending on age) Play together. others will barely leave your side for a minute. while you work Lunch for both of you. When you feel like you’re surrounded by chaos. it is often easy to overlook the simplest of solutions. if the weather is fine Settle him with his toys. If you are struggling to establish a healthy routine. while you work Take a break. is the next step. Where to find further advice These routines are only suggestions. within sight. contact your health care professional for further advice. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from other parents.
it may be a career. Don’t underestimate your needs as adults. involve them in your routine and tell them in advance the best time to do certain things Generally. Here are some tips to help you deal with this type of disruption: Don’t underestimate your child.involve taking the family on trips and holidays. but not to the same extent as adults. but most families have other tasks that they need to accomplish. so that you can relax and please . Timings may not always fall in line with your established routine. A happy parent is a real plus to any child! All too often. housework or simple relaxation. Children often react well to change and will be happy to follow a new routine If you are staying with family or friends. A young child will struggle to understand why they have been in a car for several hours. young children are at their best in the morning. Come to an arrangement with a family member or another parent where you look after each other’s children for a couple of hours a week. we as parents. so plan any activities such as sightseeing for early in the day Children do suffer from jet lag. once you return from your journey. this will help him realize that not everything has changed Don’t try to achieve too much. being conscious of work the next morning and a child that won’t sleep! Family Routine It’s all well and good having a life that revolves around your child. Allow a couple of days for adjustment Keep some items such as toys and blankets consistent Try having your child’s favorite food available. Always stop regularly and allow your child some ’time and space’ Allow yourself at least one ‘free’ day. only ask for childcare help from family and friends when we have something important that we have to attend to. There is nothing worse than arriving back late.
This should help ensure that you both have time to yourselves. Resist the temptation to cram chores into these two hours. Give the returning parent 5 minutes to himself or herself so that they can settle back into home life. daily. . settle down with a book. particularly when you are outnumbered! While techniques vary substantially depending on your circumstances. It is very tempting to bombard the parent that has been at work all day with the children. Respect the parent that works. Share the chores equally so that they get done twice as quickly. here are a few key ideas to set you on the right track: Encourage the older sibling to help with your youngest. as soon as the breadwinner returns. Try to keep the timing consistent so that your children each know that they will have their time. This not only helps with the chores but also builds your older child’s self-esteem Give your children chores to do Encourage your children to play with each other. at the end of the day.yourself. choose games that are suitable for the age group that you are trying to entertain Resist the temptation to deal with the most demanding child most of the time. this gives out the wrong message! Explain to your children (particularly the older ones) that they have siblings and that you cannot dedicate your time 100% to them Make sure that each child has some dedicated one-on-one time with a parent. 2 or more children Organizing two or more children can present a real problem. or go for a walk.
if introduced gradually Always make sure that you make time to spend with your child. constant A working mom needs to do as much the night before as possible A work-from-home mom needs to have a large selection of toys that their child can play with.QUICK GUIDE TO … DAY-TO-DAY ROUTINES Routine is important. as bedtime approaches When you have more than one child. such as naps and food. on his own A stay-at-home mom needs to get out of the house as much as possible Slow activities down. on a one-toone basis Try to keep the fundamentals. deal with the least demanding first to ensure equality Give older children chores State expectations clearly. no matter what other pressures you may be under Children are adaptable and can cope with changes. .
Problems with sleep can occur at any time. It is often assumed that problems with sleep are primarily the domain of babies. during childhood. this is simply not the case. thus ensuring that all concerned get a good night’s sleep! Sharing the family bed Many families opt to have their little ones sleeping in the same bed as themselves. inability to concentrate or reason and general grumpiness (and that’s just the children!). as parents. It is also very difficult. A baby that sleeps peacefully through the night. In fact. There are some simple rules to follow when co-sleeping: Make sure that both parents agree that you should co-sleep Consider getting a bigger bed so that everyone can have their space NEVER share a bed with a child when you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol Keep bedding to a minimum. Children get used to this closeness and many parents actually prefer to have their offspring close to them. to reason objectively and to deal with situations. On the plus side. during the early months. when you’re feeling exhausted. Many parenting experts attribute a wide range of behavioral problems in children to lack of sleep. very quickly If you have more than one child sharing with you. later in life. might develop problems. Dr Sears believes that cosleeping is best for the whole family. do not let them sleep next to each other. Not getting a good night’s sleep can lead to irritability. . many mothers find it a lot easier to have their baby ‘on tap’ when they are breastfeeding.SLEEP Sleep may well be the area that causes most worry for parents. Although there is no conclusive evidence as to the safety of this method. it is never too late to change your child’s sleep routines. children can get very hot. calmly.
From a personal point of view. it becomes much easier to explain to him what is happening and to get him involved in the decision-making process. encourage him to be excited about the new move. Once your child reaches 18 months. The most difficult age however. however. that there will come a time when you no longer want to sleep-share with your child. It is likely that you will have disturbed sleep as you settle him into his own room. a child of this age is sufficiently aware of his changed circumstances to suffer from separation anxiety. so plan carefully and be prepared! When? A child of less than 12 months will generally adapt easily to change and. and there is nothing worse than pacing the floor at 2 am knowing that you have an important meeting in 6 hours’ time! How? Explain to your child that he is now a big boy and able to have his own room and bed. Get him involved and take him shopping for his new bedding.It is likely. Here are some more tips and tricks: Depending on how anxious your child appears. The transition can prove traumatic for all involved. for moving your child from the family bed is between the ages of 12 and 18 months. you are unable to explain fully exactly what is happening. consider making the change when you have a gap in your schedule. the transition should be problem-free. This will familiarize him with his room and make the change easier to achieve . with perseverance. consider placing him in a crib next to your bed. at first. At this stage. to break the process down a little and make it seem less traumatic Place an item of your worn clothing in the bed with your child. however. for a while. this will give him a sense of comfort Allow him to use his room for naps during the day.
leave him for 5 minutes. Fights at bedtime can start to take over your whole day and become the time that you dread most. once you know he is safe. tell him that he has 5 minutes and then it is time for his bath Keep the nightly ritual the same. refusing to go to sleep is a prime way in which he can truly apply his power. he is more likely to be unable to fall asleep Give your child plenty of warning before bed time. Here are some suggestions for reducing stress at bedtime: Gradually slow his activities down towards bedtime. begin this process at least 2 hours. anticipate all usual requests. bed. Perseverance will eventually pay off! Getting a child to bed The nightly battle of getting your children to bed can be wearing for even the most patient of parents.If your child is really defiant about sleeping in his new room. What is even more frustrating is that a child can develop a desire to stay awake for most of the night. if he goes to bed with worries. re-assure him and then leave him again. for the first few nights Be consistent and be firm.g. every night. Choice is a key issue when your child is trying to exercise control Consider offering him options such as which book he would like to read.g. bath. This lets him feel that he has control but allows you to achieve your goals Do not let your child use delaying tactics. at any point! When your toddler begins to exercise control. Return after 5 minutes. e. story. even if he is crying. in advance Remove distractions that increase his activity levels such as television or video games Allow him time to tell you about his day. by filling a glass of water in advance Give him extra hugs to last all night Tell him that you will be back in 5 minutes Leave him and stay firm . before he goes to bed. e. it may be necessary to sleep in the room with him.
but are generally able to get themselves back to sleep again. all you’ve got to do is keep him there! Children start sleeping through the night. waking may be attributed to the following circumstances: A growth spurt Teething difficulties The arrival of a new sibling Starting school or day care.DO NOT return until 5 minutes has elapsed. during the day. however. deal with it and leave Avoid any eye contact and do not speak to him. ask him why he wakes up in the middle of the night and what you can do to help him sleep through Reward him when he sleeps well at night. For those who fail to do so. during the night. There often comes a time. go in see what is needed. Getting a child to sleep through the night and to wake later Now that your child is tucked up in bed. here are some key tips: When your child cries at night. so that he does not wake up feeling itchy! If your child is old enough to articulate his feelings. this way you will know that he is not waking because he is hungry Ensure that he is comfortable in his nightwear. give him a smiley face and let him know how pleased you are with him . at different ages. Most children wake several times. during the night. it is important that he feels no real benefit from waking up and screaming Make sure that he is well fed and clean before going to bed. This may depend on a variety of factors such as birth weight and the amount of food that he eats. While there is often no obvious reason for this. when your child will begin to wake.
go to his door and listen for another 2 to 3 minutes. It can be a scary time for parents as the scream is often sudden and piercing. Take time. Ask him what has happened and what he is thinking about. occasionally. such as starting school or day care. allowing him the chance to re-settle himself is often the best option. If it becomes a persistent problem. he often does not wake up fully. however. normally result in him waking up fully. at the required time. once is more than enough! Bed-wetting It is perfectly normal for young children to wet the bed at night. These are often linked to times when he is undergoing new experiences. As a night terror is generally a short and intense event. make sure that there is at least one special toy that he is happy to see Even before he can tell the time you can tell him where the little and big hands on the clock should be before he is allowed to wake up his parents Make sure that you are pleased to see him when he does come bounding into your room.Have a box of morning toys available for him to play with in his own room. it is important that he feels it is rewarding to wait! Common Sleep Problems Night terrors and nightmares As his imagination begins to work overtime. When you hear a scream. If he is worried about monsters. on the other hand. that he does not use this as an opportunity to wander into your room in the middle of the night. Nightmares. take the time to show him that there are no monsters under the bed or in the closet. at the end of every day. This may alleviate some of the stress that he is feeling and may help his mind to stop racing. consider whether he is suffering from any stress . to talk to him. Another good tactic is to allow him to bring his monster into you and leave it with you – be careful. it is likely that he will have nightmares or night terrors.
. deal with it quickly and quietly. there is no harm in marking a smiley face chart with his successes. thus enabling you to avoid triggers. This is sometimes more for you as parents than for your child. While you should not punish him for bed wetting. When your child wets the bed. as it is motivating to see the dry nights increase as the weeks go by.or physical problems such as a urinary track infection. Do not make a big fuss and do not punish him. No matter what – always make sure that you speak to a pediatrician to eliminate the possibility that bed-wetting may be a symptom of a more serious condition such as diabetes. Keeping a record of ‘dry nights’ may also be useful for identifying any pattern for wet nights.
gradually increase the intervals Issues such as starting child care or moving house may affect your child’s pattern Have a box of morning toys available to give you more time in the morning Do not punish a child for bedwetting Do.QUICK GUIDE TO … SLEEP Sharing a family bed is great with a younger baby who needs regular comfort and breast feeding Between the ages of 12 months and 18 months is the worst time to try and move your child from the family bed Give your child a chance to talk about his day. . leaving him for 5 minutes and then returning. give a smiley face for not bedwetting Avoid drinks. however. before he is expected to settle for bed Work in 5 minute intervals. within 30 minutes of bed time.
boys are not excluded). Recent research from an eating disorder support group has estimated that 40 percent of girls. Weaning on to adult food occurs over a period of years.MEALS We’ve all seen it on TV. this is not a race Encourage your child to experiment. contented family sitting around the table eating happily and making polite. Also make sure that you yourself are not pre-occupied with weight. give him variety and options . Here are some ideas to help you on your way: Take one small step at a time. Here’s some help … Weaning The process of weaning your child begins around the age of 4 months. It is crucially important if you feel that your young child is dieting unnecessarily that you get professional advice and support (not that although dieting is generally associated with girls. Other problems such as weaning your child onto adult food and food fights are generally a larger concern for most parents. aged 9. If you step onto the scales. a large. This. make sure that you do so out of the sight of your young child. The reality is often somewhat different! From food fights to picky eaters. Generally. however. regularly. caution should be exercised when considering your older child’s eating habits. if a child eats only small portions this is because he simply does not need any more. it is unlikely that he has decided to diet at the age of 2! However. have dieted at some point during their life. The gradual process from milk to adult food can be frustrating for all involved. does not mean that weaning is accomplished within the space of 2 weeks. Children are very good at instinctively knowing what they require. feeding time can test the patience of any parent. jolly conversation. at this stage.
don’t assume that your child will feel the same Give your child a chance to look at his food and to consider it. and don’t rush him as this may scare him into regressing Try and eat a small amount of your child’s food in front of him. allow plenty of time. make sure that there is always something that he likes as well as other items available to him Do not make a big fuss about what he eats or doesn’t eat Remember children will eat when they are hungry. clear away the plates even if he hasn’t finished. at mealtimes. You will almost certainly be pleasantly surprised by how well he actually eats! Hunger is a common reason for your child to wake in the middle of the night so make sure that he has plenty of opportunity to eat ‘filling’ foods such as potatoes. there are some specific tips and tricks to help you get your child to eat his feared foods: Offer your child a choice of foods.Have a selection of ‘easy’ foods available as well as more challenging foods. if he is genuinely scared of the food this may alleviate his fears . in general. If you hate pasta. with his evening meal Remember that he may simply be asserting his independence therefore forcing him may increase his resistance Let him see you eating the food you are offering him. Interchange these foods so that he is challenged but not frustrated Don’t assume that your child has the same tastes as you. do not goad him or make a fuss If you are concerned about what your child is eating keep a diary covering a period of at least a week. Fussy Eaters and Food Phobias Fussy eaters. can be treated in the same way as those infants experiencing weaning difficulties. visually. However. so don’t fret if he doesn’t eat as much as you think he should Once the meal is over. he will be more likely to trust the food and want to try it.
gets the evening meal prepared for him. It may take several days of looking at the new food item.Take small steps at a time. followed by an adult dinner’. Offer him the new food along with other familiar foods. From throwing food to banging spoons. If dinner is dragging on beyond 20 minutes allow him to leave the table. if he continues to play. he cannot interrupt . Always try to sit with your child when he eats. several days in a row. like the rest of the family. even if you are not eating yourself Have a box of after-dinner toys available in the dining room. Here are some tips for fuss-free mealtimes: Do not turn feeding time into a battle. ask him whether he has finished eating. this will help to enforce the idea that while he does not have to participate in the family meal. he will soon get used to the idea that he. sit down with your meal and discuss the day NOT the food at the table If he begins to play with his food. particularly with younger children. Recognize this and do not feel that you have failed if you decide to have two sittings involving a ‘child’s dinner’. Family meals While it may be ideal for the entire family to sit down and eat together. Avoid allowing him to eat during the 30 minutes before meal time. take his meal away Resist the temptation to ask him what he would like to eat if he doesn’t seem to like the evening meal. sometimes this is just not practical. before he takes the plunge! Using utensils and food fights Playing with food can be irksome for those around your child. not a specialist on-demand menu A child is likely to begin playing with his food if he is bored or simply not hungry. children often seem to want to play with their food more than they want to eat it.
Keep snacks to a minimum so that he looks forward to his main meal Remember that adult conversation is boring to most young children. include them in your conversation and resist the temptation to discuss the meal in front of them. .
. on the table When everyone has finished eating. even if you are not eating Keep some after dinner toys available so that you can enjoy your meal Include your child in the conversation. discuss other issues When introducing new foods. remove all plates Do not talk about food at the table.QUICK GUIDE TO … MEAL TIME Take your time when it comes to weaning Interchange easy foods with more challenging foods Offer a fussy eater plenty of choices. every day. it may take a while for him to try the food Ask a child that is playing with his food whether he has finished. put the food on his plate. if he continues to play then take his food off him – no fuss Make sure that you sit with your child when he eats. for several days. always make sure that there is something that he likes.
If necessary. How to tell if your child is ready for potty training: He tries to help when you are dressing or undressing him He is able to follow basic instructions He is aware of when he is ‘doing a poo’ (this is often evidenced by concentration or pointing to his diaper) He is able to occupy himself with toys for at least 5 minutes His diaper is often dry when you go to change him. or he may not be ready until after his 2nd birthday. Make sure that you have plenty of time available for the main training period. free from outside distractions. take time off work to ensure that you can dedicate yourself to the task. although as time goes by. In any event. Timing is key to successful potty training. Potty training for the daytime is often achieved several months before a child can begin night training. the occurrence of bed-wetting should become much less frequent. This indicates that he is establishing some bladder control Avoid training when there is a new baby in the house. Most children.POTTY TRAINING When To Start And How To Prepare There is no such time as the ‘right’ time to start potty training. Equipment that you need for potty training: . however. A child may be ready at age 18 months. are ready to begin training at sometime between 18 and 24 months. many children continue to bed-wet for many years. or you have just moved house.
Make the most of this and take your child with you to the toilet at every opportunity. As you get closer to beginning potty training. He may hold back for several days. If he has never seen one before it is perfectly possible that he will be scared by his poo. Do not make him sit there until he poos. Put one upstairs and one downstairs (You may not have much warning at first!) A cushion with a polythene bag over it. encourage him to join in when you are washing your own hands. stay calm and determined. every day. Show him the contents of his diaper so that he is familiar with what a poo looks like. but make sure that you offer lots of praise. If your child does a poo at a regular time.At least 2 potties. at this time. Introduce him to the idea of wet and dry. Put a pretty cover over the cushion (one that is easily washed). in the potty! A child of this age enjoys copying. Process of potty training Children often become clean before they are dry. do not get frustrated. preferably of the same color to prevent the “I want the blue one” argument. . at the same time as you use the toilet. He can use this when he is traveling. Explain to him what you are doing. This is generally because they find it easier to control their bowels than their bladders. Show him how hands become wet and then dry. place the potty in the toilet with you so that he can sit on it. each day. for a period of 5 to 10 minutes. Tell him that it is his special cushion. if he is successful. or in public places Prepare a collection of toys or tapes so that he doesn’t become bored while using the potty Plenty of spare clothing – you are going to need it! Prepare your child for potty training by introducing him to the idea of ‘doing a pee or a poo’. then place him on his potty.
Keep plenty of entertainment. it may be easier to leave any trousers. Take him to the toilet with you and ask him to sit on his potty so that you can both do a pee together. Continue this process for several days. throughout the day. this will confuse him. In fact. without his diaper. before . Introduce the big loo as soon as possible so that he is not frightened of the change. Night training Most parents find that successful night training occurs much later than day training. Keep a record of when he successfully uses the potty. during the day. take the phone off the hook – this requires 100 percent dedication Keep games low-key so that he does not become over-excited and forget about his potty altogether Once you begin training. it is not generally recommended that training commence. Try getting him to sit on his potty every 15 to 30 minutes. This will help to reduce accidents. from this record. congratulate him. such as books and tapes to encourage him to stay on the potty. do not put your child back in diapers. Here are some handy hints for surviving the first week of potty training: For the first day. Tell him that he is a big boy and encourage him to be excited by this development. socks and shoes off for the first few days. for a short period. By the end of the first week. If he does a pee. On the first day of training.to 10-minute intervals. Remind him regularly to use his potty. but do not make a fuss if he does not.During this period. during the day. it will be possible to establish when he generally needs to pee or poo. dress him in his ‘big boy underwear’. at hand. you could also put him on his potty for 5. most children will be in a position where they have only the occasional ‘accident’.
Accidents while away from home Changes to routine can often lead to more accidents than usual. in a new or exciting environment. don’t force the issue. If this approach works for several days. unless they are both ready at the same time. While he should be encouraged to decide for himself when he needs the toilet. at the same time. Encourage him to use the toilet before bed and reduce the amount of fluid that he drinks. With a special toy or favorite video to hand. Once your child is regularly waking dry and clean.the age of 3. try pretending to run out of diapers. Dealing with Potty Training Problems Twins Resist the temptation to train twins together. Forcing night training can cause other sleep-related problems and is usually best avoided. for the first few days. If he doesn’t. If they happen to be ready. within an hour of bedtime. try lining the potty with a diaper to encourage him to use the potty. providing more fruit to eat at breakfast can often assist with regularity. . It may be the excitement of the event that has led to him simply forgetting to go the toilet. there is no harm in using the occasional reminder. Refusing to poo in a toilet or potty Many children are happy to pee in a potty. Try to establish a regular time for your child to poo. you can explain to him that he no longer needs his diaper. it will correct itself in time. then enlist an extra pair of hands. Once you have established a regular time. but are much more reluctant when it comes to pooing. he may be prepared to forgive the lack of diaper.
DO NOT punish him when he does not. Show your child his own poo in his nappy and take him to the toilet with you Introduce the concept of wet and dry Signs that he is ready for potty training include. take your child to his potty every 15 to 30 minutes and get him to sit on it. for a short period Whenever he uses the potty congratulate him. trying to undress himself. although generally this happens between the ages of 18 months and 2 years Let your child become aware of the toilet. or if he has an accident Night training normally happens 6 months after day training Train each twin when they are ready. . having a dry nappy and being able to follow instructions In the first few days. they do not have to be trained together Keep a cushion with a protective layer for use when you are away from home or in the car.QUICK GUIDE TO … POTTY TRAINING There is no right or wrong time to start potty training.
A child rarely shouts just because he wants to annoy you. think that there is anything wrong with . he will have to be quiet to hear what you have to say. Tell him clearly and definitely what you want him to do. Truth is. Try encouraging him to use his ‘indoor voice’. e. he will simply learn that the person who speaks loudest is the one that is heard.g. Equally frustrating can be a child that ignores you! Try the following tips to help get your child to listen to what you have to say: Give your child warning before asking him to do something. please put those books back on the shelf.LANGUAGE AND SPEECH It feels like only yesterday that you were squealing with excitement at your child’s first words and now you are desperately trying to change his speech! Getting a child to listen and stop screaming He has discovered that he can make a variety of noises and he is not afraid to show you his new talent. It is little wonder that he ignores your request to get his shoes on when he has just reached the good bit of his new book! Make sure he understands what you are saying. Try giving him an incentive to do as he is told. Asking him generally to tidy up is confusing. Interrupting A young child is often unable to comprehend that the world does not exist solely for his benefit and does not. therefore. By lowering your own voice. he is yelling because he is over-excited and enjoying life. Tell him what will happen once he has done what you have asked him to do. Make sure that you do not yell to counteract his noise. it is possible that he is not hearing you clearly. If all of this does not work. make sure that you ask your pediatrician for a hearing test.
If your child sees the adults around him waiting their turn to speak. Create a game where your child can give you a signal that he has something to say. just to spark the same reaction. such as a wooden spoon. Rest assured that this will improve naturally with age. Children under the age of four do not have a very well developed long-term memory. . By giving him something special to do when you are on the phone. If your child regularly interrupts when you are on the phone then try having a box of ‘phone toys’ that are only played with when you are on the phone. he will begin to see you talking on the phone as a positive instead of a negative thing. When you are introducing this. apologize for doing so. then he will be more inclined to copy. it helps to recognize verbally that he has something to say and tell him that you will be back to hear his point soon. Stopping a child from swearing and answering back Children have a wonderful habit of blurting out inappropriate words at inappropriate times. On the occasions that you do accidentally interrupt either your child or another adult. Making a big fuss when he swears will only encourage him to do it again. Another good game is to play ‘pass the parcel’ with an item. as it is not a real word. This can be something like touching his nose or holding his own hand. So what does work? Here are some ideas: If he uses a made up word like ‘poo-poo head’ tell him that you don’t understand. As such they feel that they have to blurt out whatever comes into their mind immediately. for fear of forgetting. but there are a few things that you can do to help in the meantime: Make sure that you set a good example. Whoever is holding the item can speak and the others must be silent.interrupting.
Wherever possible give him choices. When your child is not swearing but is simply answering back defiantly. rather than aggressively shouting about it. the less likely he is to resort to defiance. Give him a second chance to play properly. If you were playing with him at the time. stick to your guns and apply punishment. Give him the chance to help solve his own problems. draw boundaries and stick to them. Tell him that you can see he is hurt / frustrated or upset and try and work out. it might be because he wants to walk like a big boy. With an older child it is often possible to explain that such language will hurt other people’s feelings. particularly those of pre-school age have active imaginations.Tempting as it is to laugh when your child swears. If he declares that his buggy is stupid. tell him that you will not play with him while he uses unnecessary language. himself. Make sure that you do not use bad language around your child – he will only copy. if necessary. what can be done to improve the situation. Answering back is often a child’s way of asserting his independence. five minutes later. He must not believe that this is a fun way of getting approval. Sometimes it is best simply to turn a blind eye and to move onto something else. Dealing with lies Children. Consider the following tactics: Tell him that it is unacceptable. it can be hard to know what to do. Give him alternative ‘clean’ words that he can use to express his feelings. Once you have said this. Tell him that the language he is using is unacceptable and that if he continues to use it there will be a punishment. The more choices he is allowed to make. Consider why he is answering back and respect his views. They often struggle to differentiate between reality and fantasy and don’t actually mean . with him. DO NOT.
some key signs that your child is struggling to express himself include using hitting or kicking instead of words to express himself. or you simply want to help him get ahead try the following: Read out loud. It is unlikely that he will fully understand the difference between truth and fantasy. children develop at different paces. If he denies spilling his juice. Phrase your questions in a way that is not accusatory. He may lie because he forgets the truth or it may be a case of wishful thinking. Try discussing them after you have finished the book so that he can express his feelings towards the books. explain to him the importance of telling the truth. listen to his stories and encourage him to tell the truth. Thank him for telling the truth and make him feel that by telling the truth he will receive a more positive reaction. just ask if he can help you tidy it up. Use stories such as ‘the boy who cried wolf’ to illustrate your point. Be patient and encourage him to tell the truth. Developing your child’s linguistic abilities Linguistically. . don’t tell him off for lying. but don’t get over anxious about his lies. As your child grows older. Make sure that if he does tell the truth about a misdemeanor.to tell lies. until he is at least five years old. it is a normal phase of your child’s development. Don’t come down too hard on him. This is perfectly natural. Your child will learn primarily from listening to you. Expand his collection of books to include characters and plots. follow the words with your finger so that he associates the words with what you are saying. he is not punished. If you feel that your child may not be developing adequately. While you don’t want to encourage lying. However. so make sure that you use as wide a vocabulary as possible.
However. also speak the second language. alongside your main language. there are proven advantages to teaching a child a second language from an early age. When your child wants to talk. so that your child can be immersed in the language. mug. table. whenever possible. specifically. so that he gets used to associating the written word with an item. Read in the second language and converse in the language. as a parent. By interacting with other children with similar linguistic abilities he will begin to flourish. at an earlier age. Research has shown that children who speak more than one language are more able to learn a further language and more able to solve logic problems. Resist the temptation to correct his grammar overtly. persevere and it will work! .Every time you go out. try rephrasing discretely. as much as possible. bring something back and have a show and tell session. Find support groups for children who speak the same languages. Answer him in whichever language he uses with you. Put down your newspaper and listen. follow these golden rules: It does help if you. Get hold of tapes. If you want to teach your child a second language. let alone two. Don’t give up. DVDs and books in the second language. Bilingual children It may seem that mastering one language is challenging enough. Do not force your child to speak either language. so get learning! Start as young as you can. Encourage him to speak to other adults and children. Label common items around the house such as chair. make sure that you give him time.
as this may help ease any frustrations Try to ignore lies.QUICK GUIDE TO … LANGUAGE AND SPEECH Always make sure that your child has reasonable warning when you are about to ask him to do something Be clear and definite in your instructions Praise good behavior Create a game where your child can give a signal when he wants to say something. unduly Label items around the house to help your child increase his vocabulary. . rather than interrupting Set a good example. this is part of his developing imagination and nothing to worry you. do not interrupt or shout yourself Do not laugh when your child swears Tell your child when the language is unacceptable and state a consequence should he continues to use such language Give your child time to air his views.
at which age. In a busy schedule. these will need to become more sophisticated. you will encourage him to increase his ability to solve problems. as he becomes more advanced. Talk to him about what you are doing. this is a great way of making him feel involved and of increasing his vocabulary. he should choose what to play and for how long. he will still enjoy puzzles and songs. A pre-school child will also have a vivid imagination and may enjoy make believe and dressing up.PLAYTIME Never underestimate the power of play! A child of any age can benefit from play. However. They may see some obvious ways that you can improve. Take time to stand back and watch him interact with toys. as well as doing simple puzzles. then that is the game for him. as well as with other children. However. this will help you to see things as he does. if your child seems to be enjoying himself. playing with pretend toys and singing. If your child plays on the floor. Make sure that you spend at least 10 – 15 minutes a day playing. Generally. play can often be overlooked or be something that your child is asked to do on his own. here are some general guidelines: By the age of 18 months. on his terms. Ideally. you should be guided entirely by your child. children will generally enjoy using crayons. Allocate specific times to dedicate to play. with him. Watching a child play is a great way of getting to know how his mind is working. . By spending time playing with your child. As he grows older. Play at different ages There are no specific rules as to which games should be played. get down on the floor with him. Ask a friend or relative to watch you playing with your child.
Creating a ramp to roll a ball down.After this age. Matching games. Sink or float. Filling a box and then emptying it again. use a bowl of water and see if various items sink or float. they are much more likely to invite you to join them. it is difficult to prevent a child from watching TV. How to drag your child away from the TV In today’s modern society. Over 4 years old Building blocks. By showing an interest. Making time in front of the television as productive as possible is . Finger puppets. Always make sure you ask permission before joining their game! Ideas of games for all ages Here are some general guidelines for games to try with your child: Under 2 years old Rolling a ball back and forward between you. Drawing and painting. Picture book. Finger painting. Playing with a mirror. altogether. the best way to find out what they like to do is to ask them. 2 – 4 years old Bowling with a soft ball and empty water bottles. Bathing their dolly.
Contrary to popular belief. Don’t rely on luck to help you find a suitable program. . Have a collection of suitable videos available so that you know exactly what your child is watching. however. Decide on the program that they are going to watch. and that they can do things that people cannot. Make sure that you explain to your child that cartoon characters are not real people. Avoid violent or bad language. miss out on other opportunities such as outdoor play and conversation. your child’s eyes will not go square if they watch too much TV. Tell them that they can watch it and make sure that you turn the TV off once it has finished.therefore fundamental. Watch TV with your child so that you can talk about the program afterwards. Do not leave the TV on as background noise. they will.
QUICK GUIDE TO … PLAYTIME Never underestimate the importance of play Under 2-year olds normally enjoy playing with mirrors 2. . as well as drawing and painting Children over 4 years old will enjoy more complex games such as building blocks or finger painting Make sure that your child knows that cartoon characters are not real Do not have the television as background noise Treat the television as a treat.to 4-year olds normally enjoy playing with balls.
It can be a difficult time. Before you look in any detail at your specific problems. no matter which gender. in general. and. children understand that they are either a boy or a girl but they do not realize that they will remain this gender. does not treat children of different genders in the same way. This behavior is not something that they have at birth. However. as such. generally have similar capabilities. Add to this confusion. the multitude of opinions from seemingly everyone you know. deciding when and how to punish your child. society. after all. Encourage your child without the use of stereotyping. This may lead to resistance to playing certain games or playing with certain people. . Children will become aware that there are gender differences from about the age of two. It is possible that your son might believe that wearing pink will turn him into a girl. their behavior is likely to be moderated so that they behave. Differences between the sexes Children. You. consider some of the more general issues surrounding discipline. it will take until at least the age of three before they realize what it actually means to be a girl or a boy. but rather something they learn. come across issues relating to discipline. if that is what they choose.DISCIPLINE GENERAL ISSUES Most parents. in time. like a ‘typical’ girl or boy. at some time or another. Allow your son to play with dolls and your daughter to play with toy soldiers. That does not mean that you should feel alone. There are plenty of places that you can get help and support to tackle any problems that you may have. know your child best. By the age of three or four. This said. Trust your own judgment.
more serious. Many girls are already unhappy with their weight by the age of six. and six times more boys than girls are diagnosed each year with the hyperactivity disorder ADHD. from a very early age. A few other interesting facts that you may wish to consider are: Girls are more likely to have body image issues. These can begin at a very young age. Some argue that this occurs from birth. there are some physical differences between the genders that can affect behavior: Girls are usually born able to see and hear equally well in both eyes and ears. Girls on the other hand generally perform better at language and verbal tasks. At what age does a child understand right v wrong? Experts have mixed opinions on when a child fully understands consequences. A child can understand very basic consequences. Boys also tend to be affected more with behavioral problems. children are more likely to be interested in what it means to be a girl or a boy and may insist on wearing certain items of clothing or role-playing. The easiest way to show your child the difference between right and wrong is by . Four times more boys than girls are diagnosed as being emotionally disturbed. whereas boys tend to hear better from one ear and see better with the left eye.From the age of five. Boys are generally considered better at tasks involving spatial awareness. generally. While most of the behavior is learnt. it is safer to assume that a child does not have any true sense of cause and effect. until close to his second birthday. However. their injuries are also. Boys are twice as likely to be injured during play.
do not be afraid to use punishment. then this will encourage desirable behavior. as he will soon learn that you don’t really stick to your word. then tell him what the consequence is going to be if he continues. carry out the threat that you previously made. be selective and concentrate on the things that MUST not happen and not simply on the things that irritate you. Do not alter the boundaries. prevention and distraction are the best ways to go. ask him to stop. Encourage good behavior with lavish amounts of praise. tell your child that after he has washed his hands he will be able to go to the park or have his favorite candy. As your child grows older. If he continues to misbehave. once. This final part is fundamental. Resist the temptation to excuse his bad behavior with the notion that he is only young or is tired. For example. He is unlikely to understand fully the concept of ‘wrong’. Despite this. With a child under the age of two. If he does continue with his behavior. Offer your child incentives to behave as you would like him to. Indeed some adults still haven’t fully mastered it! Incentives v.doing so yourself. This is not a skill that he will learn overnight. Children are great copiers and if you behave in a way in which you wish your child to behave. The method that you choose to achieve this aim depends on your child’s age. Punishment As a general rule support and incentives produce better results than punishment or over-indulgence. He will learn that he must do some things that he does not like in order to obtain the things that he does like. This is a powerful lesson to teach your child. it is easier to explain to him that certain behavior is not desirable. Be careful that this does not turn into bribery. where necessary. Decide what behavior you simply will not tolerate. Try explaining how you feel. Do your best to ignore bad behavior. He . so that he can learn that his actions affect others’ feelings as well as his own. Decide what behavior you will not tolerate and stick to it. personality and understanding.
It is perfectly possible that you simply have a personality clash – this does not mean that you are a bad parent! Recognize your differences and learn to deal with them. Remember. A toddler WILL NOT play happily on his own for hours on end and then trot happily off to bed. If he swears once at age three this does not mean that he is about to go completely off the rails! Everywhere we look we hear about unconditional love for our children. however. How you react to stressful circumstances will have a direct bearing on his reactions. do not beat yourself up with guilt. his behavior will change dramatically over the years. If your child decides to reject your apology. It may be that you have unrealistic expectations of your child. firstly. Do not try to perfect your child. Consider. Is it through stress? In today’s society we are pushed to do more. He is a child. Keep in mind that you are the parent and therefore any compromise will have to come primarily from you. ask his permission for a hug / handshake. He must be allowed to behave like a child.and we seem to be surrounded by ‘perfect’ parents. that your child sees you as his role model. so make sure that you can and do issue the punishment that you have threatened. Keeping your temper Easier said than done! With a screaming child it is extremely tempting to simply scream back. Tell your child that you are sorry for getting as angry as you did and that it doesn’t mean that you don’t love them. We feel guilty because we don’t have enough time . but it doesn’t mean that you will always like your child. why you lose your temper. This is true. . Handling Anger Once you have lost your temper. this will allow him to feel respected. but days are not getting longer.must learn that you will see your threats through. Remind yourself that you are human and as such you make mistakes.
It is easy to forget how much your child changes. Try explaining to the other adults what you are doing. even in a day. defiance may be due to feeling left out of the decision making process. Then. try explaining to your child that he may be allowed to do certain things with Grandma. When it is your partner that is not following your routine. If you cannot get other adults to follow your lead. Lack of understanding may be causing the differences. Tell them how you discipline your child and what challenges you are facing. Explain what you are doing and why you are doing it.Children forget about events like this very quickly and will be happily playing again within minutes. If you have the opportunity. but those things remain unacceptable to you. We all make mistakes! Dealing with other adults – grandparents and the other parent You’ve been working hard all day on your child’s discipline and you really think you are getting somewhere. come the doting grandparents or. Give others a chance by telling them what the latest ‘trick’ is and how you are handling it. a serious conversation is necessary. out of nowhere. Ask for their advice. worse still. so don’t let it get you down. Stay firm and focused. try to speak to the other adult before they speak to your child. . the other parent. he will soon learn. to spoil your child and you feel that you are back to square one.
however children of different genders are likely to behave differently Children do not understand the difference between right and wrong. it will not effect your child in the long-term Explain to other adults the discipline rules that you are using. every parent has an issue with discipline. until at least their second birthday. . Incentives are generally a better alternative to punishment Decide what is really important and use punishment only on these matters.QUICK GUIDE TO … GENERAL DISCIPLINE ISSUES You are not alone. and if truly necessary Do not worry too much if you lose your temper. at some time or another Children become aware of gender at age 2 There are some physiological differences.
it may be a misguided show of affection or out of pure excitement. however.COMMON PROBLEMS Whenever you speak to a parent about the troublesome behavior that they are struggling to control. Time and time again. Biting Biting is in no way unusual. and has been bitten back! Biting is normally the result of your child losing control. as he will also be upset by the events. crying. Give any first aid that is necessary. Prevention is better than cure. you will hear that it is just a phase. By the time your child goes to school. This is true. this does not mean that you should simply put up with this behavior. A great idea is to have an apple available for him to bite when he feels frustrated – a healthy and harmless alternative! . it is likely that he has bitten someone at least once. By encouraging him to be open with his feelings it will help him to deal with his anger. whining. follow these guidelines: Make sure that everyone is safe. Overwhelming feelings of anger or fear that he simply cannot express verbally will often lead to him sinking his teeth in. Not all biting is the result of loss of control. do this by separating the children. in other ways. When your child bites. Talk about what has happened and encourage him to express his feelings in other ways. almost without exception. Talk to him about his feelings and also about biting. but also reassure the aggressor. biting or hitting get a mention. so that you can avert future occurrences. so take time to think about when and why your child bites.
Ask him to use his normal voice. We all expect babies to cry. if necessary. Alternatively. However. reprimand him and give him a reason for not doing it again. play it back to him and discuss it with him. tell him that he is whining and how annoying it is. In short. However. Teach him to express himself verbally as an alternative. Perhaps roaring like a lion will work – you can even join him if you are feeling tense. It is vital that you do not hit him back. when you are in a good mood. If you cannot avoid it. One of the best ways to deal with whining is to try and avoid these situations altogether. Tell him that you know he is angry and that he should not hit as it hurts. Chances are he’ll be so amused at the idea of you both roaring that his anger will also subside! Crying / whining Whining is infuriating. recognize his feelings. it is normally directed at a disciplining adult.Hitting Hitting often occurs in the same way as biting. but what happens when the crying carries on for years? Crying is an expression of emotion. then remain calm. Another good idea is to tape record your child when he is whining and then. ask him to stop and finally ignore him. Crying can be equally frustrating. your child may not recognize that he is whining. give him paper and crayons so that he can draw what is . period. Hitting him back will only reinforce his idea that hitting is an acceptable way to express his feelings. Make sure that he realizes that it is okay to feel angry. Whenever your child begins to whine. make sure you acknowledge what he has asked for and tell him when you will do it for him. What is not okay is the way he is expressing it. Emotions are not bad things and it is important that your child feels that his emotions count. When he asks for something. suggest that he tells you why he is upset. Instead of telling him not to cry. offer a distraction such as a toy or a game.
he will get a better response.upsetting him. but tell him that you are happy to discuss it with him. . When he does stop crying (and he will) make sure that you give him 100% attention when he tries to tell you what was bothering him. If all fails. Another idea is to explain to him that it is not a good idea to cry about small things and that if he can simply talk about issues. He must realize that talking generates a much better result. ignore him when he cries about smaller things.
or at least ask that he speaks in his normal voice When a child stops crying make sure you give him 100% attention. when he tells you what is bothering him .QUICK GUIDE TO … COMMON PROBLEMS Biting is very common. but this does not mean that it is okay to ignore A child normally bites because he is so frustrated he cannot express himself in any other way Encourage your child to talk about what makes him bite and give him words that will help him to express himself verbally. in the future Recognize his feelings Try to ignore whining.
When you move him. Stay calm and sit it out – it will end! . tell him why he has been moved. If he does this. so don’t try and talk him round. This is particularly tempting in a public place! Some children will try to hurt people around them. kick. This is little comfort. Try the following tactics: Stay close so that he does not feel he is being abandoned. such as his bedroom. children can have tantrums at any age! Knowing that every parent has been there does not help when you feel that all those around you are looking down their noses at your rebellious child. in actual fact. Take heart. scream.REBELLION AND TANTRUMS Very few parents get through the early years without having to deal with toddler tantrums and rebellions from their children. Preventing the tantrum in the first place is clearly the most desirable way of dealing with tantrums. no matter what you do. DO NOT shout at him. overwhelmed with emotions that he does not know how to handle. take him calmly to an area where he cannot hurt himself. such as younger siblings or pets. or others. He will not listen to reason. though. As he gets older. he understands more about what is going on around him. If he is not too violent in his tantrum. throw things and hold his breath. No matter how much he screams. however. it is likely that your child is not trying to manipulate you (particularly at a young age) but is. The phrase ‘terrible twos’ is a misnomer. but he is not yet able to express himself fully with the use of words. Try distracting your child with a favorite toy or game. Sometimes. do not give him what he wants just to calm him. as this will only increase his fury. for the parent who is suffering yet another screaming fit. a child is going to tantrum. Dealing with toddler tantrums A child in the middle of a full-blown tantrum will often. This is frustrating to him and often results in a sudden loss of control – the temper tantrum. hold him in your arms.
Tantrums begin and end suddenly. Try to help him with words that will enable him to express himself.The calm after the storm While you breathe a sigh of relief. Your toddler will have largely forgotten about his outburst. Try asking him why he was so angry. Ask him which top he would like to wear and respect his choice. consider what has just happened. When acting defiantly. . after you have given him a choice. remind him that if he does not choose you will choose for him. If tantrums become persistent and without any clear pattern. in that they simply don’t do something that they are asked to do. It may help to make a note of the location. within minutes. children are normally passive. This will help you to determine what causes your child to tantrum and may enable you to avert future tantrums. Do not hold a grudge. By allowing him to feel in control of his own life he is much less likely to be defiant. time and trigger. so don’t dwell on it or punish him. you have little option but to simply move on. you will get a greater understanding of the cause of the tantrum and he may learn to use words rather than screams. This does not make it any less frustrating! Give your child choices wherever possible. By allowing him to explain. When a child refuses to do something Does it feel as if your child’s favorite word is ‘No’? You are not alone! A young child has little control over his life and will use defiance as a means of asserting his authority. to eliminate any possible physical causes. ‘No’. rather than actively doing something that you have told them not to do. he will not understand. make sure that you speak to your pediatrician. Discuss the tantrum with your child. he simply responds with. When your toddler is too young to discuss the matter. If.
for good and helpful behavior. ask yourself whether it is really important. This means that you should praise your child five times as many times as your reprimand him. Pick your arguments carefully. Distract him from the battleground.Make sure that you praise your child. if at all possible. regularly. if you are not going to be permanently at loggerheads! Before starting a debate with your child. make a fuss of him. When you see him doing something useful. your child is much more likely to take you seriously. . By restricting the times that you insist on your child doing something. when you do insist. Try following a five to one rule.
but this does not mean that it is okay to ignore A child normally bites because he is so frustrated he cannot express himself in any other way Encourage your child to talk about what makes him bite and give him words that will help him to express himself verbally.QUICK GUIDE TO … COMMON PROBLEMS Biting is very common. in the future Recognize his feelings Try to ignore whining. or at least ask that he speaks in his normal voice When a child stops crying make sure you give him 100% attention. when he tells you what is bothering him .
it is little surprise that we get confused! Incentives & positive reinforcement Incentives are a part of every day life. from a very early age. do so as if it were the first time. For example. Give your child chores. Children have a short attention span. We go to work so that we can afford to buy nice things. It is therefore important that you practice good positive reinforcement skills: Do not confuse incentives with bribery. For example. Avoid offering incentives for things that you expect your child to do on a daily basis. A sweet in exchange for not swearing is bribery not an incentive! Speak directly to your child when you are asking him to do something. now we can go to the park”. After he has finished washing his hands reinforce this by saying. For this reason we should view giving children incentives to behave as a positive thing and not simply a case of bribery! As a parent you are largely responsible for building your child’s self esteem. Doing something that you don’t enjoy in order to be able to do something that you find fun is normal. tell him that you will go to the park after he has washed his hands. speak slowly and maintain eye contact. . With many conflicting opinions on when and how to punish. “great you’ve washed your hands. he may simply have forgotten what you asked him to do. asking your child to take his dirty clothes to the wash basket every night will encourage his independence and engender a desire to be helpful.PUNISHMENT AND INCENTIVES Knowing when to use incentives and when to use punishments is a key issue for many parents. If you have to repeat your instructions. Make sure that your child associates his reward with the task that he has just completed.
Equally important is that toys or videos do not surround older children. away from the ‘action’. Time-outs are only really useful when your child is old enough to understand the difference between right and wrong. consider using a time-out. . this is particularly important if an older child is hurting a younger sibling. A good way of telling whether your child is old enough to benefit for time-outs is if he reminds you when you break the rules! When to use time-outs? Remember that time-outs are used to help your child handle his frustration. positive reinforcement does not always work and more drastic measures are needed. At what age can you start using time-outs? Using time-outs when your child is under the age of two is unlikely to work. Time-outs should also be used when a child is adversely affecting others. If you are in public you can still use time out by taking your child to one side. when they are in time-out. It is NOT punishment. however. Toddlers do not like to stay still and trying to confine him will almost certainly result in a game of chase.Time-outs In reality. but rather a way of helping your child to control his emotions. equally. With older children you should warn them that if they do not stop what they are doing. immediately. it should not be a reward. While the main purpose of taking time-out is not punishment. they will be placed in time-out. Time-outs are an extremely useful tool. and allowing him time to calm down. Where to use time-outs? It is important that the area you choose for time-outs is safe and within your line of vision. If you spot your child beginning to lose control.
If he violates these rules. For example a three year old should be in time-out for approximately three minutes. tell him why he is being put in time-out. As a general rule. here are a few things that you can do: Be prepared to stay with your child in time-out. rather than insisting on him staying in the same room. accurately. Do not allow him to play with any toys or talk to you while in time-out. Until he is old enough to understand time-outs. Set a clock so that you time the period. wherever he is.How to enforce a time-out effectively? Warn him that he will be put in time-out if he continues to behave in the way that he is behaving. take him to his time-out location. When time-out has finished. . get out of his space. talk to your child about why he was in timeout. use distraction instead. If it is safe to do so. Let him burn himself out. DO NOT talk to him or maintain eye contact. Sit next to him and if necessary hold him on your lap. you can remove yourself by going into a separate room away from your child. If your child is having a large tantrum. trying to pin him down in his time-out spot may simply make matters worse. What if they persist? If your child simply refuses to stay in the time-out location. but do not issue blame or maintain a grudge. re-set the clock and tell him why you are doing so. time-out will only annoy him further. If he persists. but do not enter into discussion or negotiation. The purpose of time-out is to allow him to have some time alone to regroup. time-outs should last a minute for each year of your child’s life. so if he won’t stay still.
Physical punishment (spanking) This is one of the most controversial aspects of parenting. benefit from using the naughty mat. As a general rule. during his time-out. or because you have lost control? If YOU could time-out for three minutes. by hitting him. To help you make your decision. this is largely because of its association with the word ‘naughty’. As a general rule. consider the following issues: Are you hitting your child for his benefit.Naughty mat The naughty mat is used in almost exactly the same way as a time-out. It is very difficult to persuade a child that hitting is wrong. physical punishment is best avoided. Choosing whether to physically reprimand a child is entirely an individual’s choice. Only use the naughty mat when your child has been genuinely naughty and not simply when he has lost emotional control and needs to calm down. therefore. A very young child will not understand the concept of naughty and will not. It simply marks the spot that you wish him to use. the naughty mat is seen as more of a punishment than time-out. would you still return and hit your child? Are there any alternative methods that you could use? .
QUICK GUIDE TO … PUNISHMENT AND INCENTIVES Do not confuse incentives with bribery. make sure he understands Time outs are not punishment but a time to regain calm Time outs should only be used on a child of at least 3 years old Give him a warning that the will be placed in time out if he persists. but is generally reserved for when your child is naughty. . if he does persist. “if you do X we can then go and do Y” is an incentive Speak clearly and directly when asking your child to do something. remove yourself from him so that he is on his own when he is having his tantrum Time outs should last a minute for each year of your child’s life The naughty mat is used in the same way as a time out. during his time out If he refuses to stay in time out. as opposed to a time to calm down. without any further discussion Don’t maintain eye contact and don’t discuss the situation with your child. put him in time out.
This can be unnerving for a child that is used to having you to himself. By misbehaving he will regain your attention. it is little surprise that with the added excitement of being in a public place. DO NOT give in. how do you deal with a tantruming child. if only they make enough of a scene. children are often under the impression that they will get their own way. there are often other reasons: As children tend to behave badly when they have lost control. all the activity causes an outburst. So stand firm. a tantrum cannot be avoided. however. the best way to deal with a tantrum is to avoid it. As a result. When you are in public you are often giving your attention to something other than your child. when it feels that you are in the public spotlight? Dealing with tantrums in public Just as in the home.BEHAVIOR IN PUBLIC It often seems that your child acts up in public just to embarrass you. No matter how long or bad his tantrum becomes. Parents are generally more inclined to give in to demands in public because they are embarrassed and feel that they are being watched. the best way to deal with a public tantrum is to ignore it. ignore onlookers and keep him safe. With all this in mind. When you are out in public there are a lot more opportunities for distraction. Hard as it is. Sometimes. long term. While capitulating may solve the immediate problem. While this is sometimes the case. . things will only get worse. Make sure that your child cannot harm himself or others around him and simply sit it out. in the first place. try engaging the child in other activities to avert the tantrum.
This will help them to enjoy the dining experience. It is unfair to expect a child suddenly to develop excellent dining skills just because he is in public. turn off any music and do not speak to him. By going to a family-friendly. Practical tips for awkward situations In the car: Make sure that he has distractions available to him. Pick a time of day that your child is not tired because over stimulation and a tired child make a bad combination! Make sure that you set ground rules at home. tell him where you are going and when you will get there. you are less likely to feel pressured into keeping your child silent. you can still use a time-out. Hold him and do not speak to him. by the side of the shopping cart in a supermarket. as much as you. If this fails. so that your child can stretch his legs. away from the main action and tell him that he needs a time-out. At a restaurant: Select your restaurant carefully. Children have a short attention span. noisy restaurant. or in a toilet cubicle.Using time out when out in public If your child is losing control in public. Try singing or playing games. Take him to one side. as if he were in time-out. Stop regularly. . so don’t hang around! It may be worth allowing your child to have food or drink which you do not allow at home. Suitable locations for time-outs include inside the car where he can be strapped safely into his seat. Involve him in the journey. such as ice cream or sweets.
In the Wal-Mart: This is a busy and lively environment. Get your child to help you with the shopping. By allowing him a toy that he can only play with in the store. If going shopping always results in a battle. He may be getting bored and frustrated so. consider doing several smaller shopping trips. In any event. you are also reducing the chances of boredom taking over. he will be more inclined to let you browse at your leisure. by shortening the time that you spend in the store. Have a special shopping toy. Give him an incentive to behave by telling him that once you have finished shopping he can go and play in the park. most people will feel nothing but sympathy with you. When your child has a tantrum you are NOT as noticeable as you may feel. Ask him to hold the shopping list or to look out for certain items. .
QUICK GUIDE TO … BEHAVIOR IN PUBLIC Bad behavior in public is common Tantrums generally happen when a child has lost control, so over stimulation in a shopping mall may well trigger an outburst Do not give in to his demands Make sure that he is safe and that those around him are also safe Use time out by taking him to a quite place, or getting him to hold onto the buggy Involve him in the journey, if you are planning on spending a long time in the car Choose your restaurants wisely Have a special car / restaurant toy.
OLDER CHILDREN As children get older, the problems that parents face become increasingly varied. Once your child starts attending school, he will be less under your control. Other role models will enter your child’s life, such as teachers and other children. DISCIPLINE Older children have an increased ability to reason and express themselves. This is not to say that the tantrums and displays of defiance have gone for good! When the naughty spot no longer works … Up until now the naughty spot has worked well. Then suddenly your child thinks the whole thing is funny. You can continue to use the naughty spot and timeouts, effectively, with some children until they are quite a bit older. They, however, are the exception and not the norm. Here are some useful alternatives for the older child: Don’t underestimate his ability to understand what you are asking him to do. Ask him to do something and give him reasons as to why he should do as you are asking. Offer an incentive by telling him what you will be doing AFTER he has done what you are asking him to do. If he continues to defy you, ask him to practice the task several times. Tell him that you are making sure that he knows what to do. He will soon realize that tasks cannot be avoided. Praise him whenever he does something you ask of him. When he appears to be resisting certain tasks, ask him to explain why he does not want to help you. There may be a fear or anxiety of which you are not aware.
Privileges and incentives The basic theory of when to use privileges and incentives remains the same, no matter what the age of your child. Be careful to ensure that your incentives do not turn into bribery. Make sure that you do not say, “if you brush your teeth…”. The word ’if’ implies that he has a choice. A child of five is astute enough to pick this up, so be careful with how you phrase your incentives! As your child’s attention span increases, rewards can be accumulated, over a longer period of time. Try creating a chart where you can add smiley faces whenever your child is well behaved. When he has accumulated ten faces he has a reward such as his favorite chocolate. Praise, praise and more praise! Peer pressure When your child starts school his social circle will increase dramatically. This is an important and exciting part of his development. However, he will also start wanting to do something or have something, simply to be the same as the others within his social group. Copying other children and wanting to be like other children is perfectly natural for your child. He is simply trying to endear himself to others. Being accepted by his friends will increase his self-esteem. It is easy, for example, to see why it is so important to him to have the right ‘kit’. If your child has made friends with someone that you consider to be a bad influence, do not ban him from playing with them. Try, instead, to encourage him to play with his other friends. Calmly explain to your child that he cannot have what he is asking for, because you have a finite budget and that other things must be bought first.
When your child is old enough. Tell him how many dollars he has and let him choose his own priorities. you can give him a budget when you go to the toy store. . This not only gives him a sense of control over his choices but also helps teach him the math.
. by talking through you may discover what he is resisting.QUICK GUIDE TO … OLDER CHILDREN – DISCIPLINE Time out and naughty spot will work until your child is a lot older Give him reasons when you ask him to do something Make him feel involved with the decisions Avoid the word “if” as it implies choice Ask him why he is reluctant to do as you ask.
SCHOOL / HOMEWORK ISSUES Every parent wants their child to do well at school. Dealing with school anxiety Going to school is a scary time for most young children. . Getting a child to do homework Young children will normally be given small homework assignments. It can be heartbreaking if your child does not enjoy going to school or has difficulties doing his schoolwork. His independence is likely to mean that he might be reluctant to accept your suggestions. Try to relax and make learning fun. make much difference to their high school grades. Even those who are used to being in day-care are likely to feel anxiety when they move to ‘big’ school. Pushing the issue will almost certainly only result in defiance. Here are some tips to help you deal with the big move: Give your child plenty of time to talk to you about his fears. to do in their own time. at this age. Encourage him to come up with a plan of action for himself. don’t belittle his thoughts. Whether they successfully complete this work will not generally. Common fears include: How will I get there and get home? What if I can’t find my way around the school? What if nobody likes me? What if I don’t understand what is going on? All this is perfectly normal.
so that he has a sense of pride in his ‘study’. . If you have enough space. Whenever your child produces a good bit of work. Ask him to choose how he wants to decorate the area. proudly. Resist the temptation to take over and do his work for him. He will enjoy pleasing you and will be encouraged to do the same again. create a dedicated place for your child to do his homework. put it on display. speak to his teachers and ask their advice.Ask your child why he is reluctant to do his work and make sure you listen to the answer! If he is finding the work too difficult or too easy.
proudly Create a dedicated study space so that he can concentrate on his work. .QUICK GUIDE TO … OLDER CHILDREN – SCHOOL / HOMEWORK ISSUES Give your child plenty of time to discuss his concerns about going to school Help him to come up with a plan of action for dealing with his concerns Display good school work.
as they will want to do more to earn your approval. on his own. heap on the praise. they can be encouraged to take dirty clothes to the wash basket.CHORES Doing chores around the house is a great way to get your child involved in what you are doing. try to resist and allow him the time and space to do what he can. he can understand more complex tasks such as tidying up toys or putting clean clothes away. If you have a pet you could give him the responsibility of filling up the feed bowl. This will help him to understand the task and hopefully prevent frustration from lack of understanding. No matter how tempting it is to jump in and help. They will enjoy helping and you will acquire a little helper! Children of a very young age are capable of very basic tasks. Once your child is over the age of four. no matter how small. How to encourage your child to help around the house Children become easily distracted and will lose interest in protracted tasks. Praise them for even the smallest assistance they offer you. Reward his effort even if the job is far from perfect! . A child of between two and four years old gets frustrated easily and tasks should therefore be kept simple. or to put their toys in a neat pile. When he does a task. Try some of the following tips to keep your child focused and eager to please: Demonstrate to your child what you are asking him to do. What to expect from various ages: Children under the age of two are physically limited in what they can do. However. Try giving him a cloth to help you dust the surfaces or ask him to help you with basic cooking tasks.
Help him generate a sense of responsibility over his room. do not demand that it is done. Give him time to tidy his room. for example. It may also be that he doesn’t understand and rephrasing your request may give him the clarification he needs. there is no point in having a lovely poster in a messy room. Ask yourself whether it really is a problem that he likes a bit of mess? If you can live with it then let it be. to find old toys or so that you can clean. Dealing with messy bedrooms For a child. If you have a ‘smiley face chart’. immediately. their bedroom is their space. try rephrasing your request because being repetitive will make your child feel like you are nagging him.If he does not do what you ask him to do. things go too far and it is necessary to get your child to tidy his room: Explain why it is important that he tidies his room. after he has tidied. tell him that tidying his room would earn him another smiley face for his chart. They can express themselves and can get away from the stresses of life. After all. Try not to turn the issue of how tidy your child’s bedroom is into a battleground. Sometimes however. . Consider telling him that he can choose another poster for his wall.
even if he is not entirely successful If he does not do as he is asked.QUICK GUIDE TO … OLDER CHILDREN – CHORES Children of any age can do at least basic chores Give plenty of praise when your child tries to help. . such as helping around the house. try rephrasing the request Encourage a sense of responsibility over his bedroom by allowing him to choose posters or color schemes Use a smiley face system to reward good behavior.
are more likely to become clingy and regressive. A few weeks before the new baby is due to arrive explain to him what will happen when you go into labor. This will help him not to feel fearful when you disappear to the hospital. Older children tend to show this frustration by being aggressive. Let him touch your bump and talk to your bump. such as who will pick him up from school and where he will sleep. love and attention. Encourage him to bond with your unborn baby. he has been the only child in the house and is used to having you all to himself. He will enjoy his apparent superiority and you may even get a little help with your new baby! . so that he feels involved. For several months at least. teasing and arguing. Let him choose blanket colors. A newborn baby requires a great deal of time.SIBLING RIVALRY You can hardly blame your child for feeling a little put out when his new brother or sister appears. Tell him about any practical changes that are going to occur. he simply sees you as abandoning him for this new baby. Explain to your child what will happen when the baby arrives. Younger children. Your older child does not automatically understand that you still love him just as much. as soon as possible: Wait until you have a visible bump so that he can actually see what you are talking about. as they do not understand what is happening. however. for example. Encourage your child to get involved in preparing for his new sibling. An older child can be encouraged to be the big brother who needs to show the new baby how to behave. Preparing siblings for a new baby It is wise to begin to prepare your older children for the new arrival.
Make sure that the games they play are non-competitive. Tell him how big and grown up he is and point out what he can do for himself. It can be hard to know what to do when the children that you love seem intent on hurting each other. Look for activities that they can do together. However. involve your older child as much as possible. With younger children. this is often difficult to enforce. ask your older child to help your younger child by reaching his favorite toy or helping him with his coat. Encourage your older child to express his thoughts verbally or with drawings. This will make the other sibling feel inferior and may engender a feeling of resentment. Let him help you make decisions such as choice of clothes or books. give them each a dedicated area to store their favorite toys. Better still. there are some useful tips that will work at least some of the time! Never compare one sibling unfavorably with another. If your child hits. or throws things at the baby. but . These frustrations may boil over and he could become aggressive towards his sibling. When older children won’t stop fighting One day they are best friends. such as walk and talk. How to deal with aggressive behavior towards a new baby A young child is often unable to express his feelings of hurt and anger at the new arrival. such as drawing or role-play. the next day mortal enemies.Once the new baby has arrived home. you must of course intervene to prevent injury. While this is often difficult. Allocate at least some time every day that is dedicated to him.
only if necessary. first.any sense of personal boundaries will help to discourage fighting over toys and other belongings. If one child comes to tell you what the other has done. tell him that you are not interested. Do not encourage tattling. Encourage them to sort out their difficulties on their own. . Give each child his dedicated time with you. Separate.
each child should have his own feeling of space. as soon as you have a tangible bump that he can see Get your child involved in the process of preparing for the new baby Explain what will happen when the new baby arrives. . so that he is not scared by his mother’s absence Allocate at least some time daily to your older children. so that they do not feel left out Make sure games are non-competitive Give each child an area in which to store his toys.QUICK GUIDE TO … OLDER CHILDREN – SIBLING RIVALRY Prepare your child for the new arrival.
If you are concerned about your child’s weight. Look for diet versions or. Overweight children The combination of sedentary hobbies and junk food. Dealing with depression in a child Most children go through a phase of believing that they are incapable of doing anything correctly. In an ideal world. Keep food out of the reach of children. This way it is easier to monitor exactly what your child is eating.SELF ESTEEM AND LONGER TERM ISSUES Once your child starts associating with other children he may develop longerterm issues relating to the way he views himself and his level of self-esteem. Ensure that the family eats at the dining table and not in front of the television. better still. sugar-free cordials or water. These issues are often ongoing and may require professional intervention. so that he is less likely to notice the difference. With the guidance of the health professionals. Instead. This will help you to focus on exactly what your child is eating. try the following to help your child achieve a healthy weight: Increase your child’s activity level. means that it can be a real battle to maintain a healthy weight. Lead by example and take your children to the park and play ball games or teach them how to skip. try giving smaller portions on a larger plate. available to children these days. It is not uncommon for children to go through a chubby phase and this should cause you little concern. Children will be children and it is difficult to cut out sweet food altogether. When these negative thoughts extend over a long period of . Don’t underestimate the calories contained in some sodas. children should be doing at least one hour a day of activity such as riding a bike or walking the dog. contact your pediatrician.
it is important that you view yourself in a positive light. SPECIALIST NEEDS Sometimes parenting requires a different perspective. stress or genetics. A child who is suffering from depression may be over anxious. whichever is necessary. Listen to what he has to say and never suggest that his feelings are trivial. appear disinterested or be abnormally negative. By considering the issues that surround your child’s behavior it may be possible to identify a different approach to tackling those awkward situations. friends or professionals.time. Do not hesitate to seek advice from your pediatrician. from family. careful attention needs to be given to the underlying causes of this negativity. Seek help and support from those around you. How my behavior can have a long-term effect As the main role model for your child. It is not clear what causes this depression but it could result from a sudden change in his life. ensure that you obtain the help that you need to overcome these feelings. If you have any issues that affect the way you feel about yourself. Children as young as three. and possibly younger. . a chemical imbalance. If your child appears depressed. may suffer from depression. Not all children are the same and not all circumstances are the same. Now is the time to make sure that you do not pass any problems that you may be experiencing. take him seriously. Professional care needs to be given to a child suffering from depression. to your children.
so be careful what you say and do. . consult a professional The way you see yourself will have a real effect on how your child sees himself. if you suspect depression.QUICK GUIDE TO … OLDER CHILDREN – SELF-ESTEEM AND LONGER TERM ISSUES Always seek professional advice. if you are concerned about long-term issues If you are concerned about your child’s weight. increase their activity level rather than encouraging dieting Keep snacks out of your child’s way Depression can happen in children as young as three.
ILL CHILDREN AND CHILDHOOD DISEASES Most children are ill at some point during their early years. However. If you feel that your child is prolonging his illness simply to get more attention. Dealing with childhood illnesses Misbehaving is often one of the first signs of illness. Make sure that you tell your child that you are aware of how he is feeling and that you will do what you can to help. Older children may feel resentful that they are ill and other children are not. you do have to do other things as well. An older child may be able to express that they are feeling ill. If you are in any doubt. consider that he may be feeling under the weather. If your child suddenly seems to act up more. Bear in mind. whereas with a younger child you will have to be more vigilant for signs such as a raised temperature or rash. many children will see illness as an opportunity to get away with behavior that you would not normally tolerate. Offer sympathy but do not answer your child’s every demand. It is all too easy to attribute any bad behavior to the fact that your child is ill. Convince him that being ill is boring! Dealing with more persistent illnesses It is a little harder when dealing with children will persistent illnesses. you should always contact a pediatrician. While a little leniency is necessary when your child is under the weather. that a young child is unlikely to feel the same way as an adult does when they are being sick. Children are often not as phased by their illness as the adults who have to clean them up. try telling him that once he is better he can do something that he really enjoys. .
.Explain to your child in a matter of fact manner what their condition is and how it is treated. As an extension of this tell him that being ill is not an excuse for bad behavior. regardless of illness. Set boundaries and stick to them. Try and separate his behavior from his illness. Reinforce to your child that he is not ill because he has been naughty.
QUICK GUIDE TO … ILL CHILDREN AND CHILDHOOD DISEASES Relax some rules when your child is ill Misbehaving is often the first sign of an illness. when it comes to illness With a more persistent condition explain. about his condition Explain treatment that he will be receiving Re-enforce that illness is not an excuse for bad behavior. in a matter of fact way. so a sudden change in behavior may indicate a larger problem Always get the advice of a professional. .
Try to encourage your other children to help you with daily tasks. If your other children are old enough. Ask whether there are local support groups that will enable you to talk to other parents who have similar difficulties. Investigate local charities that offer respite care. Do not blame yourself or your child and make sure that you get all of the help available to you. the more you learn. This can. explain to them. lead to your other children developing bad behavior patterns in an attempt to regain your attention. in a matter of fact way. Tips Research the condition that your child has. Discipline is still an important issue and while you may have to alter your expectations. a couple of hours a week where your child can be cared for and you can have your own space is invaluable. The more you read. Wherever possible dedicate a period of time to your other children exclusively. they can be an invaluable source of support. Where to get help Speak to your pediatrician.SPECIAL NEEDS (MENTAL) Raising a child with any form of mental disorder can be exhausting for all involved. siblings are often sidelined. this will make them feel special and involved. Dealing with siblings When one child is particularly demanding. what problems their sibling faces. . If your child has a rare condition it may be that you can get support on-line from a wider variety of people. make sure that you set your boundaries and stick to them. in turn. Tell them when this time is going to be.
Tips Research the options for special education. Problems can often be magnified when your child begins school. It is natural to feel overwhelmed. Make time for his siblings. . Be sure not to spoil your child in an attempt to compensate for his illness. as they may feel neglected or unloved if your disabled child is given all of your attention. Take any help that is offered to you. They may get frustrated that they cannot join in with the games that their schoolmates are playing and this in turn may lead to disruptive or destructive behavior. Always tell your child in a factual manner about his disability.Follow your instincts. ask for a second opinion. Your child may benefit from specialist treatment and also from socializing with other similar children. if you feel that your child has been misdiagnosed or requires more help. SPECIAL NEEDS (PHYSICAL) Raising a child with a physical disability requires a great deal of patience and dedication. Deal with his insecurity with as much affection as you can. Reinforce the importance of discipline regardless of his illness. Families may have to adjust their living quarters and maybe even move house in order to accommodate their child’s needs. Reinforce that you love him no matter what difficulties he faces. Don’t expect too much from yourself. Take time to answer his questions.
so that they do not feel abandoned or become jealous Do plenty of research so that you know about the condition and what you can do to self-help Resist the temptation to over-compensate with treats.QUICK GUIDE TO … SPECIAL NEEDS Get every bit of help that you can Do not blame yourself Explain to older siblings about the conditions and what they can do to help Dedicate time to your other children. .
Resist the temptation to speak badly about his father (or mother) in front of him. Raising them on your own can often feel impossible. Do not feel guilty about wanting to spend time on your own away from your child. tell him that you cannot speak for his absent parent and that he should ask him (or her) directly. Do not lie to him. maintaining the same standards. remind your child that he may be able to do certain things with Dad (or Mom) but he is not allowed to do these with you. Make sure that you are. is likely to vary depending on whether you chose to be on your own. it can be hard to know which way to turn first! Discuss discipline with the other parent. How you feel about your role. Retaining sanity A happy parent makes a happy child. . It can be tempting to make up for the absence of the other parent with treats. If you are offered help from friends and family – take it! Be aware that your child may be feeling abandoned. Resist the temptation to offer your child rewards that are not earned.SINGLE PARENTS Raising children is a difficult task. If this is impossible. If he asks a question about what his father (or mother) thinks. as a single parent. whether it is as a result of a relationship breakdown or whether you have been bereaved. Dealing with discipline when you are outnumbered When you are on your own with more than one child. as far as possible. Explain as truthfully as you can where their other parent has gone.
Maintain the same discipline rules that you did before you were single (or that you would if you were not single). In order to maintain your sanity make sure that you choose your battles wisely. It is unlikely that you will have sufficient energy (or time) to deal with every little issue.Explain to your child what has happened in as much detail as is appropriate for his age. Let other things go. Do not glorify the situation and do not tell him details that he does not need to know. so decide on what is important and enforce those rules. Don’t try to be perfect. If your house is a little messy – so what! .
QUICK GUIDE FOR … SINGLE PARENTS Do not try and do everything Accept offers of help Do not speak badly of your ex-partner Try to explain, in a matter of fact way, where the ex-partner is Choose your battles wisely, you do not have unlimited energy Make sure that you are maintaining consistent discipline; discuss your strategy with any other primary care-givers.
STEP FAMILIES “You’re not my real Dad!” Sound familiar? Then you don’t need to be told of the frustration of raising children in a stepfamily. Stepfamilies are commonplace in today’s society, but it doesn’t make it any easier when you are faced with the daily battle. Discipline issues: Make sure that both parents agree on a discipline strategy. As a stepparent, try moving the focus from your own authority and refer to them as ‘house rules’. Consistency of treatment for all children is fundamental. Give children the opportunity to express their feelings of anger or resentment. Do not interrupt and do not pass them off as silly. If they feel you really listen then you may avert an attention seeking tantrum Rivalry between the children Where there are ‘mixed families’, rivalry may be even greater than normally seen. How you deal with the rivalry is similar to other cases of sibling rivalry. However, there are a few extra tips to try: Allow children to spend time with their natural parent. Misbehavior is often due to a child feeling abandoned or replaced. Consider holding a family meeting to discuss issues that may be troubling your children and for you to inform every one of the household rules. Resist the temptation to favor a child. It can be tempting to over compensate and favor a stepchild. This will only further your own child’s feeling of abandonment. Do not try and replace the natural mother or father of your stepchild. NEVER speak about them in a derogatory manner.
QUICK GUIDE FOR … STEPFAMILIES Agree on house rules between the parents Refer to rules as house rules rather than your rules, so that the step parent is removed as the target of animosity Do not over-compensate to the stepchild by allowing him to break rules Do not try and replace the natural parent.
A good approach to this scenario . Take some time to ask the parents what rules they are enforcing. Resist the temptation to belittle or correct the parent's approach. they may be under considerable stress! Knowing when to offer assistance to parents can be a real issue. such as 9am Saturday. even from an early age. If you are unsure. be sensitive to the parents. Setting the boundaries As a grandparent you are often able to be more objective when it comes to your grandchild's tantrums. will appear sooner than you think. Consistency will benefit everyone involved. ask. Try offering tangible assistance. It is a lot easier for parents to accept a definite offer than to phone up with a request for help. whereas a grandparent who regularly cares for the children will almost certainly have to take a stricter approach. in today's society. Children are incredibly cunning. Disciplining your grandchild The level of discipline that you will have to enforce depends largely on how much caring you do for your grandchildren. However. nowadays! Bearing this in mind. Discipline techniques change and it pays to be up to date with the latest terminology. A visiting grandparent can afford to be a little more lenient. it is virtually impossible to define what a 'standard' grandparent does. The line. Consider attending a parent and toddler group or even a specialist group for grandparents. Offer for example to take care of the children at a specified time. fitting into the routines and discipline that the family has set can be a real challenge.GRANDPARENTS Grandparents take on a variety of different roles. "Mommy let's me". Ranging from the occasional visit to almost full-time care.
if possible. to ask Mommy. it is also a useful way of putting any childcare suggestions that you have to them. together. Children rise to the occasion very well . explain to your grandchild that this is YOUR house and as such. Be prepared to apologize to your grandchild if indeed he was telling the truth! If there is a genuine dispute and you feel that you cannot tolerate behavior that is acceptable to the parents.particularly when they feel that they are 'helping'. . particularly when you are older.a recent survey of over 3. It's exhausting looking after a child. Keep a record of events throughout the day to show the parents. YOUR rules apply.000 parents revealed that over 70% said that the best thing about grandparents is the love and attention they give to their grandchildren.is. Enjoy your grandchild . This can help you to ensure that you are doing what they would want. to suggest to the child that you will both go. Explain this to your grandchild and ask that he helps by playing less strenuous games.
so that you can continue with the work Offer tangible assistance to the parents.QUICK GUIDE FOR … GRANDPARENTS Your relationship depends very much on what level of contact you have with your grandchild Set boundaries and stick to them Take time to ask the parents what they are doing. such as specific times when you will take the children out. in terms of discipline. for an hour or two Do not exhaust yourself – play less strenuous games Rest assured that your love and attention will be the most appreciated thing that you give to your grandchildren. .
It is. it is even more important that you develop a consistent routine. Looking after twins is a full time job. Twins rarely wake each other up with their crying so don't worry too much about this possibility. resist this and deal with his calmer sibling. can take on a whole new dimension when you have two minds and bodies to deal with. make sure that they can still see each other. as they will feel comforted by each other’s presence. Allow young babies to sleep in the same cot. Join a local support group so that you can speak to other parents about their experiences. Having a set routine will ensure that they do not feel abandoned. important that your twins are content with their routine. be separated before their first birthday. therefore. but very hard work! Issues that appear simple. otherwise you may find yourself getting up twice as often as necessary. don't expect the house to be spotless as well! Sleeping tips for twins (or more) With more than one child. As a general rule they will need more space as they get older and should. This will allow you more time to focus on the other twin after you are certain that one is calm. It is not physically possible to be in two places at once. particularly if one was born a lot heavier than the other. Tempting as it may seem. If one twin wakes up for a feed.TWINS Having more than one child is a real joy. . therefore. ensure that you also feed the other. Separating them should be done when you feel that they are ready. Once you have separated them. Remember you are human and cannot be expected to do everything. Although twins tend to sleep through the night at roughly the same age. where one child is involved. when you leave them to tend to their brother or sister. to deal with the more anxious twin first. this is not always the case.
use a timer and ask one twin to count to ten while the other twin plays with the toy and then ensure that they swap over. they are likely to develop substantially different personalities. as an individual. This can become a game in itself. you only have so much energy so pick your battles wisely. simply give more attention to the twin that is behaving well rather than punishing the child that is behaving badly. Never compare the twins. make sure that you carry it through. This way they will both get an opportunity to do separate activities and to get some individual attention. If you issue a threat. Not gaining your attention and being left out of the game is punishment enough for a child. individuals.Discipline As your twins grow older. They are. Try to ensure that they both get equal attention. Concentrate on issues that really matter. after all. alone. Resist the temptation to focus on the louder child. to express his concerns. suggest that one twin goes to his grandparents for an hour and then allow them to swap. If you have grandparents available to help. When they are arguing over a prized toy. Make sure that each child gets some time with a parent. It is important that he has a chance. .
safely Deal with the anxious twin first Make sure each twin gets equal one-to-one time with a parent. to discuss their individual concerns Concentrate on the important issues. .QUICK GUIDE FOR … TWINS Allow them to sleep in the same cot until they are too big to do so.
There are some things that can be done by you at home to assist in dealing with a child with ADHD: . it is becoming a real issue for many parents. Most sufferers are diagnosed before their seventh birthday. understandably. largely because it is so difficult to diagnose and there are no known causes. Self-help treatments It can be a relief finally to have a diagnosis. Symptoms include: A very short attention span and a reluctance to attempt any task. Being easily distracted by things going on around him. Treatment can involve multiple drugs that many parents. Despite no definite scientific proof. it appears that ADHD does have a genetic link. suffering from ADHD. although this relief is often shortlived. Generally more physically active and has trouble waiting in lines. in detail. Being forgetful and often losing items.ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER With. If you believe that your child has ADHD it is vital that you seek the help of a medical professional. 4 to 12 % of children in the U.S. are reluctant to use. on average. Diagnosing ADHD ADHD is highly controversial. with siblings of children with ADHD being over 25% more likely to suffer from the condition. They will assist in your diagnosis and discuss treatment options with you.
or even hours. They need to know when they will eat. try to create a calm space for him. if at all possible.Explain to your child why he is having regular appointments. If you are using a smiley face system of reward. Separate his workspace from his play space. Give them leaflets on the subject. regularly. A child with ADHD is much less able to cope with the concept of waiting for his reward. Weekly visits to the doctor may scare your child. consider breaking the time periods down to half days. This will help them to feel more secure in their surroundings. Make sure his room is kept relatively clutter free. so prepare him for these by telling him what will happen and how he will benefit. sleep and play. Tell everyone who deals with your child. Routine is even more important for a child with ADHD. . and explain what it means and how they can help your child. that he has ADHD. Make sure that the rewards you offer for good behavior are instantaneous. As you child is easily distracted.
QUICK GUIDE TO … ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER This is a highly controversial behavioral problem Seek professional advice to help with diagnosis and treatment Make rewards more instantaneous Routines are even more important with a child that has ADHD Create a calm space for your child Explain the condition to other adults who are in regular contact with your child. . so that they can understand how to deal with him.
for life. Authoritarian parent: tending more towards insisting on a high level of obedience. uninvolved parents allow their children a high degree of independence. often without allowing the children to make any decisions for themselves. TYPES OF PARENTING What type of parent are you? No two children are the same. Indulgent parents: tending to allow a wide range of behavior and have a relaxed view of discipline. As role models and guardians. You will only end up becoming frustrated with yourself and your child. your ability to be a positive influence is key. Uninvolved parents: at the extreme end. and similarly no two parents are the same. these parents may even be considered neglectful. How we act and react to everyday situations is likely to impact on our children. are the main influences on our young children. we as parents. Don't let this scare you.THE PARENT It is impossible to consider parenting issues. Normally. There are four main recognized different styles of parenting: Authoritative parents: tending to use positive reinforcement rather than punishment and offering clear boundaries in an assertive manner. however. Trying to behave in a way that is unnatural to you will serve no useful purpose. Based on these four styles. without considering the parent. there have been dozens of tests performed to assess the impact of these parenting . from an early age.
A happy parent is far more likely to raise a happy child . they are more likely to develop behavioral problems. However. There is evidence. if necessary. Authoritative parents are more likely to raise children that are generally well balanced. but you can be certain that by getting involved you are much more likely to raise a child who is balanced. Nobody is perfect. both socially and in terms of behavior. however. do seek medical advice. Take some time to look after yourself and talk to a professional. however. Children from authoritarian backgrounds tend to perform well in school and suffer little from behavioral problems. You will see from these findings. these results should not be taken too seriously. They do.styles on children.so it is in your child's best interest for you to make sure that you are content with your role as parent. therefore. Recognizing your natural parenting style enables you to work on your weaker areas. Getting help If you are experiencing difficulties with your own thoughts and feelings. Children from uninvolved backgrounds generally perform poorly in all areas. What causes anger in parents? Any parent who tells you that they have never lost their temper is either a saint or a liar! Anger normally arises when one of the following occurs: . It is common for parents to feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of child rearing. happy and healthy. of the following: Children from indulgent backgrounds are less likely to suffer from depression and are socially more adept. As it is virtually impossible to determine what exactly triggers certain behavior. that being involved and doing your best will tend to produce better results compared with being uninvolved. have a greater problem with social skills and self-esteem.
From frustration. . it is how we. All of these events are magnified when coupled with sleep deprivation. deal with it that counts. When a child fails to meet a parent's expectations of suitable behavior. Frustration.When a child disrespects his parent. in one form or another. When a child has embarrassed his parents in public. is the usual trigger for anger. This is natural. as parents. through not knowing how to deal with your child's behavior.
QUICK GUIDE TO … TYPES OF PARENTING Don’t try to be something that you are not Recognise what type of parent you are and be aware of your behavior Uninvolved parents generally produce children with more problems – so get involved Look after yourself and get medical help if required. .
do this in a matter of fact way. If there are two of you. There is no shame in leaving the room and going to calm down. Go for a walk. Don't dwell on your outburst. start a new game or just go into a different room. When you feel your anger rising. After the eruption! Sometimes it just happens. make sure that your child is safe and walk away. they will understand and probably be quite pleased that the same rules apply to you! It may be necessary to apologize to your children. get help. Don't worry if your older child sees you getting frustrated. consider forming a group so that one of you can take all of the children out one day and then swap around. If you are using this method as a way of calming your children. A few minutes on your own may be enough to regain your composure. Take a break. Return the favor! If you are on your own. If this happens.you are not alone. When anger becomes a way of life. but at least you get a break in return! If you are at the end of your tether. the children certainly won't! The . get your partner to take the children out to the park or for a walk. Never be too proud to ask for help . It might be a hard couple of hours when you have the children all to yourself. common sense goes out of the window and we lose our temper. for both you and your child. take time out. try the following ideas: Change the surroundings. the next time that he becomes frustrated. you can even tell your children that you need a time-out. If a parent's response to frustration is to lash out in anger. Anger is particularly likely to become a problem if you have worries in other areas of life such as finances or relationships. it's how you deal with it that really matters.DEALING WITH ANGER Children learn from their parents. one can hardly blame the child for reacting in the same way.
guilty feelings that plague a parent last much longer than any upset in a child. So relax, you're only human!
QUICK GUIDE TO … DEALING WITH ANGER Recognize what makes you angry; is it frustration or fear? Try changing your surroundings, to calm yourself down If there is another adult around, take a break If all else fails, make sure your child is safe and walk away, if you are angry, you will not achieve anything until you calm down Don’t feel guilty if you lose your temper, apologize if necessary and then move on.
BALANCE IN YOUR OWN LIFE It can be easy to forget that you are more than a parent. Children have a way of taking over your every minute. While it is perfectly natural for your children to be the most important thing in the world to you, it is equally important that you look after yourself. Neglecting yourself is a sure-fire way to sap your enthusiasm and energy. Over time, this will affect your children. Signs to look out for You probably know better than most when you are running low on energy. However, there are a few telltale signs that may indicate that it is time to take a step back. Eating the children's scraps instead of preparing a main meal. Social activities, if there are any, revolve entirely around school events. You get no exercise, other than looking after the children. Restoring balance Easier said than done! With an endless list of chores, it may seem impossible. Follow these steps to help restore balance in your life: Write down a list of activities that you enjoy, examples include: going for a walk on your own, going to the gym or having a long soak in the bath. From your list, tick the three that you would most like to do. Show your list to your partner or friends and ask them to help you to incorporate these activities into your daily life. If you have friends with children, suggest that you do it together, so that you can look after each other's children, in turn. Sort out the practicalities. Is there day care available at your local fitness center? Would your parents look after your children for an hour, at the
Instead of worrying about everything. Enjoying activities with your children Recharging your batteries can even be accomplished with the children around. . and the relief will benefit you greatly. take some time to regress to your childhood: Get dirty! Join your children in the sandpit. your children will love it and you will get some exercise into the bargain. It will do no long-term harm to let the pile of ironing grow a little bit higher. Play loud music and dance wildly. Children love imitating animals such as lions and a good shout might help relieve some of your tension. Go to a big open space and practice animal noises. so that you can go for a coffee with a friend? By involving others.weekend. Go on to child time. Suspend all but the essential housework for one day. Hold your own disco. you are much more likely to stick to your plan.
.QUICK GUIDE TO … BALANCING YOUR OWN LIFE Recognize the warning signs that you are not getting enough time to yourself Make a list of activities that you enjoy and try to make sure that you take time to fulfil some of these goals Enlist the help of friends and family Make taking time out part of your weekly routine Do some activities that are fun with your children. on a specific day. such as having a disco or playing in the sand pit Make a rule that no housework will be done. so that you can slow down slightly and concentrate on the important things.
on a weekly basis. Take advice from your partner in the spirit that it is intended. If finances can stand it. If necessary. They might be delighted at the prospect of going back to work! Being in full charge of a child is hard work. particularly when you are not performing the role on a daily basis. Negotiate with your boss to see if you can work flexi-time or telecommute. it has not changed completely. Work can also be a key issue for many fathers. Stay at home fathers Society is changing. While society is changing. Never contradict or undermine your partner. Have an allotted time. There are an increasing number of fathers opting to stay at home with their children. Learn to let go of some of the chores. where you are on your own with your children. discuss the possibility with your partner. discuss the matter away from the children so that you can present a united front. Talk to your partner and your boss. Stick to it! Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Working to live not living to work Take time to reassess your priorities. Knowing when to offer support to your partner is just one of the many issues that you face. Looking after children is demanding. in front of the children. It really doesn’t matter if the lawn grows a little too long. Always make sure that you know what the 'current' issues are with behavior and how your partner is dealing with it. consider hiring someone to do the lawn and any other little chores that might get in the way of your family time. Be aware that as a father you will see some resistance to your new role. If this appeals to you.FATHERS The role of the father is anything but easy. so do not take to heart the suspicious looks in the . Decide what the most important things are to you and your family. and make sure that you do not lose sight of your priorities.
Be proud.playground or the looks of pity. . on a daily basis. Resist the temptation to make excuses for your position. You are doing the most important job on earth .raising your children. when you explain to new friends what you do.
. voice your thoughts.QUICK GUIDE FOR … FATHERS Reassess your priorities Negotiate with your boss for flexible working arrangements Make the most of your time off work by spending time alone with the children If you feel like becoming a househusband.
Do your best! Making the most of limited visitation If you only get to see your children for a limited time. being a parent involves being around for them at every stage of life. Air any grievances in private and make sure that you support your ex-partner in front of the children. The consistency will be comforting for your children and will allow you to be a . the mother wins the custody battle in 90% of cases. but to a young child it can feel like a lifetime. it is important that you make the most of it. Children grow at an alarming rate. It can be disconcerting to arrive. to see that the child you left last week has a whole new repertoire of tricks up his sleeve! Rules for the absent parent Hard as it may be. You may not think that being 5 minutes late is a problem. Stick with them. Maintain the disciplinary techniques that your ex-partner is using. Try to ensure that your children do not see any emotional weakness from you as a result of your separation.ABSENT PARENTS In divorce. Always keep your promises to both your ex-partner and to your children. try to follow these rules in order to ensure that your children are not adversely affected by your separation from their other parent: Never argue with your ex-partner in front of the children. The result is that a huge number of fathers and several mothers struggle to maintain contact with their children. Children will feel more secure with the situation if they genuinely believe that you are going to be okay. one weekend.
rather than on what you did have or would like to have had. Take time to talk to your children on their own and without distractions. This can cause resentment from your ex-partner and can also cause discipline problems. You might be surprised when your child declares that he would rather play cars with you than go to an expensive theme park.don't assume that you know their preferences.positive influence on their behavior. Being an effective absent parent is a real challenge. Let them know that you are always there for them. Resist the temptation to shower your children with gifts. Ask your children what they want to do . Make the most of every minute and enjoy! . Ask your ex-partner about their techniques. to make sure that you are doing the right thing. Focus on what you've got and the opportunities that you have. currently.
don’t assume you know Take time to really talk to your children Let them know that you are there for them. . so that you can act consistently Do not speak badly of the other parent Resist the temptation to spoil your child with treats Ask your children what they want to do with your day together.QUICK GUIDE FOR … ABSENT PARENTS Always stick to access arrangements Ask your ex-partner about how they are dealing with issues such as discipline.