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Is it harmful to yell at your toddler?

by Maxine
Posted December 17 2010 03:32pm
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Some people might think that because they only yell at their child, and don't do anything physical, that it's really not that bad. But frequent, angry yelling can be as harmful as hitting your child because of the emotional hurt it causes.

If you do lose your temper and yell at your child, tell your child as soon as possible that you are sorry, and it wasn't right for you to behave the way you did. Also, explain that you will try very hard not to yell in the future. Most importantly, show your child that you will always love them.  This is also great modeling for your child, who will learn that yelling is not an acceptable way of dealing with problems.

Yelling is usually a sign that you have lost control and so it will be difficult to parent effectively.  When you are not in control, step back, take a few breaths or remove yourself until you are calm.  You might ask your partner to step in for you as well.

If you are yelling at your child regularly, consult your physician about possible medical reasons for your anger.

 

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The benefits of touch for your toddler

by Maxine
Posted December 22 2010 07:22pm
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Is there anything more comforting to a child than the gentle touch of a loving parent? It is said that touch can speak louder than words and that touch is our first language. How true! When a mother rubs the back of a crying toddler her touch is saying in no uncertain terms, "I care." This quiet yet clear communication between a parent and child is powerful, and its positive effects on children cannot be overstated.

So remember, when you comfort your young child, regardless of her age, touch can play an important role in how you communicate your affection and support.

It is also important for parents to be in tune with their children, and to read the cues and clues that children give about the type and amount of touch that suits them at a particular moment. Sometimes too much cuddling will make a child cranky; if this happens, it's time to back off. In fact, some children are naturally more reactive and sensitive to touch than others and at times may find too much touch over-stimulating. They'll let you know when they need a break - your job as a parent is to recognize and follow their lead. Often, a casual touch on the shoulder is enough to let children know that you love them.

So read your child's cues, and remember that touch can speak louder than words. When it's used sensitively, it sends a powerful message of love and security.

 

 

 

 

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The Causes of Bedwetting

by Maxine
Posted September 5 2011 06:10pm
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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’ separation 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 toddler wet the bed? Share your experiences and stories by commenting below!

 

 

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The benefits of reading to your toddler

by Maxine
Posted January 4 2012 05:30pm
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Reading to children has many benefits. It is a great opportunity to bond and enjoy each other's company.

It can also increase their vocabulary, trigger their imagination and expose them to new experiences and concepts. Moreover, reading with children prepares them for learning to read by fostering their appreciation for books and by familiarizing them with print and the structure of stories.

From the first days of life and throughout childhood, you can help instill a love of reading. Start by setting an example. Show your child that reading is an enjoyable activity by reading in his presence and keeping lots of reading material in your home. Read to him often (several times a day!), a special activity that stimulates your child's senses through colourful illustrations to look at, the comforting sound of your voice, your touch and your smell as he snuggles against you.

You can further enhance your child's enjoyment of book-reading by encouraging your child to get actively involved in various ways. For example, toddlers typically enjoy pointing to the various illustrations as you name them, and you can capture your child's imagination by giving the characters their own voice (e.g. a low voice for adults, a high squeaky voice for baby animals, etc.) Older toddlers and preschoolers, for their part, will like talking with you about what they think will happen next in the story and reacting to surprising, funny or scary events in the story. Make eye contact and ask open-ended questions (that can't be answered with "yes" or "no") to initiate the discussion, such as "What do you think Arthur is feeling?" and "What is the little girl doing now?" These actions can make book-reading a more fun, positive and engaging experience for your child by allowing him to play an active rather than a passive role.

It is also important to let your child set the pace. Spend as much or as little time as he wants on each page. Also, give him the opportunity to choose books that interest him. Raid your local library or bookstore so you have a wide selection of books available to choose from and let him decide which book he wants to read, even if you've already read it three times that day! By respecting his choices and supporting his interests in these ways, you will foster his appreciation of books and help him develop a positive attitude towards reading.

Try to choose books that are appropriate for your child's age and level of development. Children's books often come with age recommendations that are based on factors such as the book's length, the level of vocabulary, the topics and concepts covered, and the amount of detail appropriate for the average child's level of development at a given age. However, some children have greater vocabulary levels and are capable of concentrating on a story for a longer period of time than other children of the same age and may master some concepts at an early age. If this is the case with your child, he may be ready for more advanced books. You can try reading books to him that are meant for children who are one or two years older, as long as you feel the topic is appropriate for him and as long as he enjoys these books – don't push him is she is not ready. You can also choose to omit or modify certain parts of the text if you feel it is too complex or too long for his attention span.

Some parents find that their child does not seem to be interested in books. They try to close the book or struggle to get away during story time. If this happens to you, don't force things as this will only frustrate both of you. However, do try again soon. Choose your timing carefully and take into account your child's mood and energy level. Pick a time when your child is relaxed, perhaps just before bedtime, and read in a quiet place where there is no other distraction such as the television or other family members who are engaged in a different activity. Also, suggest books that match your child's interest (e.g. animals, machines, rhymes, etc). He will be more likely to enjoy such books. It's also important to follow your child's lead and to give him plenty of leeway for exploration; don't assume he will understand right from the beginning that the pages have a specific order, or that he will want to read the whole book in one sitting. The important thing is that he has fun, not that he does it the "right" way.

 

For more on reading to with your toddler, check out The Importance of Reading to your Toddler

How does your child feel about reading? Is he excited at reading time or is he distracted and disengaged? Share your experience by leaving a comment below.

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