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