Toddlers and Verbal Abuse

by Maxine
Posted August 27 2010 01:55pm
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Verbal abuse is defined as repeatedly insulting a child or calling a child names. Telling him that he is stupid, fat, lazy, useless etc, can be just as harmful as hitting him. These actions can result in him feeling as though he is no good. 

Children in these situations come to believe that they are worthless or stupid and they may feel that it’s hopeless to try to be anything different. A child needs to feel loved, wanted and safe in order to feel worthwhile.

Any type of abuse can lead to a whole range of behavioural, emotional and physical problems. 

If you or your partner are using verbal abuse with each other or with your child it may be difficult for her to thrive. You should speak to your doctor or a counselor in your area.

In Canada, anyone who believes a child is being abused is required to report it to the police or child protection authorities.


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Preventing Tantrums in Public with Comfort, Play & Teach

by Maxine
Posted September 5 2011 04:27pm
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How do you prevent your child from having a tantrum in public? Our experts have provided some strategies to prevent tantrums when you are in public with your child.

How do you prevent your child from having a tantrum in public?

Babies and young children often find shopping and other trips away from home overwhelming. The sights and activities in stores and public places may cause your child to spiral out of control.

Try to be consistent with what you would do at home. It may seem easier to look the other way or give in, rather than deal with the behaviour right there. However, if you are inconsistent, it may encourage even more demanding behaviour in the future.

Here are some strategies to prevent tantrums when you are in public with your child:


  • Don't go on an outing when your child is tired, hungry or ill. 
  • Try to remain calm. If you become angry with the bank teller or upset in a traffic jam, your toddler is likely to sense this, and he may lose complete control.



  • Try to keep trips short and within your child’s limits. Some babies love being out and about; some don’t. Even those that love it will have off-days. In general, keep outings on the short side for 1 year olds. Gradually go for longer outings as your child approaches her 2nd birthday.  
  • Bring along nutritious snacks and interesting toys. This will help to ensure your child doesn’t become hungry. Also, you won't be tempted to give your child a non-nutritious treat or to buy an unneeded toy in an effort to stop a tantrum.



  • Talk to your child while you shop, run errands and so on. Engage his attention. Ask for his opinion, and have him help you find the items on your shopping list. A game like “I spy” may keep your child engaged and learning about colours, shapes, textures while grocery shopping


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Nursery rhymes & your toddler's language development

by Maxine
Posted January 4 2012 03:52pm
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And you thought Itsy Bitsy Spider was just entertaining your child!

Now researchers have found that song-like rhythmic patterns that make rhyming fun are the very thing that draws attention to the rhythm of language. And when you tap or clap along to the beat of the story, you're really helping your child develop an awareness of the syllables and sounds that make up words. For example, in the rhyme Hickory, Dickory, Dock, each syllable can be clapped as you say the word Hick - o – ry (3 claps).

Nursery rhymes also set the stage for early reading by making children more aware of their own language and how sounds are combined to make words that sound alike - like "clock" and "dock".

Reciting nursery rhymes teaches the rhythm of speech and intonation as well as the grammatical structure of language. You can change your intonation to emphasize certain words or phrases, such as "climbed up the water spout " and …"washed the spider out". This emphasis is present in our everyday language. We raise our voices at the end of a question, and pause between sentences or phrases to emphasize a new thought.

Nursery rhymes also help a child articulate or say consonant sounds clearly. In "Hey diddle, diddle, the cat and the fiddle", the "d" sound is repeated several times. The sequence of words makes you use different tongue movements and change the position of your teeth against your lips. So the rhymes help children become more fluent in their speaking skills, and able to pronounce sounds they have trouble with.

Using the classic nursery rhymes below, try these activities with your child.

  • Point out rhyming words and ask your child to find more words in the rhyme that sound like these.
  • Point out words that start with the same sound(s) and ask your child to think of other words that start with the same sound.
  • Using things like a pencil on a tin can, tap out each syllable of the rhyme with a "drum" beat.
  • If your child knows the rhyme well, say parts of it and let him complete it. For example, let him fill in words at the end of lines that rhyme – like dock and clock.


Hickory, dickory, dock,
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down,
Hickory, dickory, dock.

The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.
And the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again.

Hey diddle diddle
the cat and the fiddle
the cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed
to see such sport
and the dish ran away with the spoon.


Content provided by the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network

What are your child’s favourite nursery rhymes and how do you use them to support her language development? Share your thoughts with other parents by leaving a comment below.

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How will full time work and travel affect your toddler?

by Maxine
Posted December 16 2010 08:24pm
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Being away from your child can be very difficult for both of you. Research shows that parental absence is usually difficult initially when your child is between six months and two and a half years. If you're away for a few days or even a few hours, you may find that your child becomes very upset with you, even angry. If this happens, try to comfort and reassure her.

Spending time away from your child is sometimes necessary and, in most cases, these absences will cause no harm. If you have to be away longer than one or two days, you can make things easier by leaving your child with someone who knows him well, will understand he may be anxious and upset, and who will consistently reassure him of your return. It's also best to leave your child in familiar surroundings.  It is helpful to try and have their day remain as consistent and predictable as possible, whether you are with them or they are in the care of another person (getting up the same time, having the same bedtime routing, nap time, etc.).

You can help to reassure your child and keep a positive relationship. When you return at the end of the day or after a trip, your child may tell you to "go away," or say, "I don't want you." What your child really means is that she missed you terribly and wishes she could have more control over your coming and going. Let you child know that it is okay to be mad or sad or grumpy.  Tell them that you love them no matter what they feel and you are so glad to be home with them.  To help your child feel a little of this control, allow her to keep her distance for an hour or so after you return if that's what she wants, or let her direct where you should sit. This may help your child feel more secure that she still has some say in her relationship with you.  Above all, don’t get upset or chastise your child for not being happy to see you.  

Be Honest.  Some parents are inclined to tell their child they will be right back, or not tell their child they are leaving and then leave when the child is occupied or sleeping.  Although this might seem easier it usually causes greater distress in the long run.  You child may start to become extremely upset whenever you are out of their sight because they fear you are not going to return  It is much better to tell you child you are leaving and when you are coming back.  They may be too young to understand time, but you can help them by putting jellybeans (or a similar small, non-perishable food item) in a jar.  One jellybean goes in for each day you are away.  The child eats one jellybean at the same time each day and when all the jellybeans are gone, Mom or Dad is coming home.

Make coming home special.  Always greet you child right after you arrive home and spend a few minutes with them.  Cuddle, share stories, show pictures; just spend some nice time together.  If there were issues with the child when you were away, save dealing with this until a little later.  Your return home needs to be a pleasant time for all of you.

Include your child in preparing for you to leave. Give your child a role in helping you pack and in taking something to remind you about your child, (i.e. a picture, one of their toys, etc.). Having them participate will help them feel more included and will also help them to understand the difference between a “long trip” and just going to the store.

Connect with our child while you are away.  Children respond well to structure and predictability.  If you are away for more than a day, call just before bed, send an e-mail or talk to them via one of the social networking sites.  Try to make your connection at the same time each day.  After they wake up, at supper, or just before bed as an example.  You might want to take one of their storybooks with you and read it to them as a part of their bedtime routine.  A great idea that some parents have used is to have two copies of favourite storybooks so that as the parent read one over the phone or internet, the child can follow with their own book.

Children do adjust.  Remember that there are millions of parents who work full time, part time and travel away from home and their children are doing just fine.  


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