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Help! My preschooler a picky eater?

by Maxine
Posted December 22 2010 03:37pm
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Most parents know that mealtime with young children can be difficult. You worry that your child isn't eating enough food, or the right kind. Or maybe you think your child is eating too much of one kind of food. Often you may feel that nothing seems to work. She won't let you feed her, and she refuses to eat what you give her.

The first thing you need to do is relax. Don't call her a "picky eater" or she may become one for life. There are many reasons why your child may not be eating the way you expect him to:

Every child is different in how often, when and what she wants to eat. Some take a real dislike to certain types of foods - maybe it's the texture or the odour. Some prefer to eat only a couple of things. Fortunately, most children grow out of being this particular about food, and develop regular and healthy eating habits.

Kids go through growth spurts. During these times, they eat a lot. At other times, they hardly seem hungry at all.

Another factor in your child's eating habits can be his struggle to be independent, especially between ages one and three. Refusing to eat can be your child's way of asserting himself. Avoid a power struggle during mealtimes. Giving reasonable choices may help, such as, "Would you like milk or juice?"

The best thing you can do is make sure your child has different healthy foods to choose from so, when she does want to eat, at least she's getting the nutrients she needs. Limit your child's options to two or three items at a time, more can be overwhelming.

If your child is losing weight, not maintaining his weight or overeating, consult your child's health care provider.

 

How do you handle your picky eater? What strategies work for you? Leave a comment below and share your story with parents just like you!

 

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Helping your preschooler overcome his fears

by Maxine
Posted December 22 2010 05:26pm
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When you comfort your frightened child, you are helping him feel safe. This sense of security gives him the courage he needs to eventually face and conquer his fears. It's normal for all youngsters to be afraid of something at one point or another, whether it's thunder, large dogs, bees, the dark or imaginary things such as ugly monsters under the bed. And some children's temperaments make them naturally more fearful than others. Fears seem to be especially common between three and six years of age, when a child's ability to think about and remember scary things increases.

Here are some things to consider when you are comforting your fearful child.

  1. Even if you don't really understand what your child is afraid of, or you don't think it's something that should frighten her, remember that the fear is very real to her, so deal with it seriously. Never belittle the fear as a way of forcing her to overcome it. For example, it won't help matters if you say, "Don't be ridiculous! It's just a clown."
  2. It's important to talk to your child about his fears. Words have a way of taking some of the power out of negative emotions and making them more manageable for young children.
  3. No child should be forced into dealing with something she is afraid of before she is ready. When you feel she can handle it, gently encourage your child to confront a fear by gradually exposing her to what she finds frightening. 
  4. If you show excessive concern when your child is upset, you may unintentionally reinforce your child's fears, giving him the impression that there really is something to be afraid of. Sometimes just providing age-appropriate information in a calm and reassuring tone can be helpful. For example, you might say, "That's a very loud noise, isn't it? It's an ambulance. It must be on its way to help someone."
  5. Prepare your child for things you expect will frighten her. For example, if you're visiting a friend who has a dog, tell your child about the dog before you arrive, reassuring her that the dog is friendly and gentle and really likes children. Give her the opportunity to talk about any concerns she has in advance, and together you can develop a plan to help her cope when she eventually encounters the source of her fear. Maybe you'll both pat the dog together, or she'll offer him a biscuit to show that she's his friend.
  6. Keep reminding your child of the things that he is no longer afraid of. This will help him feel empowered, and he'll realize that it's possible to overcome other fears, too. Learning to deal with fear is an important part of growing up and can greatly increase your child's confidence. Therefore, you play a big role in gently and gradually helping your child confront and overcome his fears. But remember, let him work up to it. And if he gets upset, comfort him, hold him calmly and reassure him that he'll be OK.

 

Is your preschooler ever fearful? What strategies do you use to help your child overcome his fears? Leave a comment and share your story with other parents.

 

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When Preschoolers Whine

by Maxine
Posted December 22 2010 07:06pm
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You know what it’s like when your little one starts in with that whiny tone. It can drive even the calmest parent crazy!

When preschoolers begin to whine, the most important thing to do is not to give in. If you do, it will teach your child that whining is a good way to get what he wants, and he will do it again, and again. Instead, let him know that you expect him to speak to you without whining.

Acknowledge your child’s efforts when she speaks without whining.  If she keeps whining, stay calm and ignore it until she speaks properly. If you think she is really overwhelmed by a situation, though, she may need a hug or a back rub to break the cycle.

Here are some suggestions from our experts to prevent whining:

  • Watch for situations where your child may get bored, and prepare for them. For example, have a bag of toys for your child to play with while you're on the phone.
  • Teach your child the difference between whining and asking properly.
  • Try to pay attention to your child when she talks to you in a normal voice. If you ignore her when she is asking for something nicely, she may start to feel that the only way to get your attention is to whine.

 

What do you do when your preschooler whines? How do you handle the situation? Share your story with other parents by leaving a comment below!

 

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Turn Fright Night into Fun Night: Comfort, Play & Teach Tipsheet

by Maxine
Posted October 24 2011 12:11pm
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mom and child on halloween

Halloween can be as much an evening of fun, dress-up, and too much candy, as it can be a night of scary goblins, strange noises and haunted houses. Our experts have come up with some ways in which parents can use Comfort, Play and Teach to enjoy both the tricks and the treats of this spooky and exciting night.

 

 

Download this Halloween Comfort, Play & Teach Tip Sheet.


Check out our other Halloween Tipsheet!

 

 

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