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