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Encouraging your preschooler to share

by Maxine
Posted December 20 2010 11:54am
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Does your child ever have trouble sharing? If so, you’re definitely not alone. 

Our experts have come up with several suggestions for helping your preschooler learn to share:

Be a role model. If you share and take turns with your child, he will experience how nice it is to have someone share with him, and will learn to do the same thing with others.

Try to let your child have enough space to play beside another child, but make room for her own toys and activities. When children are very young, it's a good idea to have duplicate toys to make everybody happy. Allow your child to think of a toy as "mine, mine, mine!" but also acknowledge your child when she lets someone else take a turn. Describe how the other child feels when she shares, such as, "Johnny is so happy you gave him a turn with the ball."

Be a guide. If your child wants a toy another child has, help him find some other interesting toy or activity in the meantime, to help him learn to wait.

Be patient. Know that it takes time for children to be ready to share, so don't expect your child to be too generous too soon. And certainly don't punish her for not sharing or taking turns. You want sharing to be a happy experience - not something your child feels forced to do.

At about three years old, help your child sort it out with other children if an argument develops over a toy. This will give him the skills to eventually work things out himself.

And finally, until you feel your child can handle them, avoid situations with too many children. They can be overwhelming if a child is in the middle of an "all mine" stage.

 

How do you teach your preschooler share? What techniques have worked for you? Leave a comment below and share your experience with parents just like you!

 

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Helping your child cope with the death of a pet

by Maxine
Posted December 22 2010 03:58pm
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You can help your child cope with the death of a pet by helping her to understand that loss and grief are a natural part of the cycle of life. Encourage your child to tell you what she is feeling and answer any questions. There are also books available in the children’s section of the library about a pet's death, that you can read and talk about together.

Remember, it's not the size or kind of pet that matters, but how important it was to your child - so don't say things like, "It was only a goldfish." If your child feels you don't approve of the depth of his loss, it just makes it harder for him to cope.

It may be comforting for your child to have some kind of a farewell ceremony for the pet. Put a picture of the pet in your child's bedroom. Encourage everyone in the family to talk about their special memories of the pet.

It’s not a good idea, while your child is grieving intensely, to try and distract him with fun activities.  It can be very hard to accept the loss of a pet that was really loved.  Children need time to experience all their feelings and accept the loss.  Don’t rush to replace a pet in an attempt to help the child feel happy.  Grief is an important natural process for all of us to learn about.

It is not unusual for a child to feel strongly and intensely sad about the death of a beloved pet for a period of six to eight weeks. However, if it lasts longer than this, consult your child's physician. It may also be helpful to consult your child's daycare provider or school teacher to see if this behaviour is happening away from home, too.

 

 

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Preschoolers Who Are Shy

by Maxine
Posted August 27 2010 02:35pm
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Some children are shy. They "hang back" in groups. They need your assistance to learn how to become comfortable talking and playing with others.

The main things to remember when trying to help a child like this to cope with new situations are:

  • Don't label a child "shy" or introduce your child as a "shy child." Sometimes children will define themselves as this and never move beyond the label.
  • Don't push your child into situations that he might find overwhelming. It's important that you accept your child's nature and help him develop ways to overcome his shyness - that may take time and patience. Instead of pushing, offer your child opportunities to be involved with others with your support.
  • Prepare your child ahead of time by talking about new situations, such as what she will encounter, or who may be there, and talk with her about ways to become involved in groups.
  • Don't nag your child about being shy. Parents who get irritable or impatient with a child's shyness may find that their child reacts by being even shyer.

Remember, every child is unique. Some children will be shy, to a greater or lesser degree, all their lives. It's important for them to feel valued for who they are.

 

Is your preschooler shy? How do you handle it? What tips do you have for other parents in the same situation? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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The Causes of Bedwetting

by Maxine
Posted September 5 2011 06:06pm
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Many children are unable to sleep through the night without wetting the bed. For most children, bedwetting fades away as they get older, usually by 5-6 years of age.

Here are several reasons why your child might wet the bed:

Your child may not have the bladder control needed to stay dry through the night. In fact, one in seven children wets the bed regularly past the age of three.

Your child might be a sound sleeper, and the urge to urinate doesn't wake her up.

Your child may be drinking too much before bedtime. This doesn't mean your child shouldn't have a drink before bed - just don't let her overdo it.

Your child may have a small bladder or he may just produce more urine at night. 

Your child may suffer from constipation. A bowel that has stool will press against the bladder. 

If your child is still wearing diapers, he may not feel motivated to stay dry through the night because he doesn't notice when he has wet himself.

Bedwetting can be a reaction to stress in your child's life. Things like a new brother or sister, a new daycare, experience or parents’ seperation may trigger it or make it worse.

Your child may have inherited  this from you.  Scientists have discovered a gene for bedwetting. If one parent wet the bed as a child, their child has a 25% risk of bedwetting. If both parents wet the bed as children, their child's risk increases to about 65%. (www.caringforkids.cps.ca)

And, in a few cases, there may be some physical problem causing your child to wet the bed, such as a urinary tract infection or physical abnormality.

If you have any reason to suspect your child may have some physical problem underlying night-time bedwetting, or if your child is embarrassed about wetting the bed, or if you think bedwetting is going on too long, consult your child's health care provider.

Whether you and your doctor decide to treat the bedwetting or simply wait for your child to outgrow it, be sure that your child knows bedwetting is not a bad behaviour. It is not his fault do not shame, punish or scold your child if he wets the bed. Provide comfort and support.

The Canadian Pediatric Society recommends that you talk to your doctor if your child: 

  • Wants to be dry at night and is concerned by the bedwetting. 
  • Is having daytime accidents. 
  • Is dry for many months and then suddenly starts bedwetting. 
  • Has other symptoms such as a frequent need to pee or a burning sensation when he pees. 
  • Is still wetting at 5 to 6 years of age (or older). 

Reference: Caring for Kids www.caringforkids.cps.ca, developed by the Canadian Paediatric Society.

Does your preschooler wet the bed? Share your experiences and stories by commenting below!

 

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