Comfort, Play & Teach and your preschooler’s social development

by Maxine
Posted December 20 2010 10:53am
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Every day, there are plenty of opportunities to use Comfort, Play & Teach: A Positive Approach to Parenting. The following examples from our experts show how you can support the social development of your preschooler while doing your routine errands. 

Give your child a special responsibility, such as choosing which kinds of fruit you buy. Letting your preschooler express his independence is comforting to him and helps him gain confidence and a stronger sense of self. 

When you get back home, play pretend games with your child to give him a chance to explore in more detail some of things you have done on your errands. For example, take turns pretending you are the post-office clerk and costumer, and help your child think of what he would say in these situations to help him practice different types of social interactions. 

Teach your child some valuable pro-social skills by encouraging him to carry a small bag for you, asking him to help you keep an eye on his little sister, and showing him how to put his used wrappers, juice bottles, etc. in garbage cans and recycling bins.


Did you use any of these strategies with your preschooler? How well did they work? Leave a comment below and share your story with other parents.


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Ten Things to Remember When Your Child is a Preschooler

by Maxine
Posted July 27 2010 07:03pm
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1. At about this age, children start to think more about the feelings of others.

So you can talk with your child about things he does that affect other people. For instance, ask how he would feel if someone interrupted while he was talking. You might agree on a signal, like touching your arm, for when he wants a turn to talk.

2. During the preschool years, your child will learn to share you with other people.

Give her the chance to be involved with you or other children for short periods of time. Praise her for the times when she is playing contentedly on her own.

3. Encourage your preschooler to try new things.

But don’t push him beyond his limits. An activity may seem easy to you, but your child may not be ready for it. Listen to your child, especially when he’s scared. Don’t make him try something because you want to do it or you see other children doing it.

4. Resist the impulse to take over your child’s play and make it better.

This reduces her self-confidence. It makes her feel as if her work isn’t worthy of your appreciation.

5. The most important way to build your child’s self-esteem is to make sure he knows he’s loved.

Then he begins to see himself as a good, lovable person. Each time your child learns a new skill, right from the earliest days, let him know how well he has done. You should also encourage him to cope with new situations. But only expect what’s likely for his age, not perfection.

6. Give your preschooler lots of chances to play – alone, with brothers and sisters, with other children and with you.

When your child plays, she is practicing skills in every area. She thinks, solves problems, talks, moves, co-operates and makes moral judgments. Play is helping her to get ready for the real world.

7. Praise your child’s attempts to try new things and to deal with frustrating situations.

Never punish, shame or ridicule a child who tries and fails. This can damage or destroy their fragile self-esteem. For the same reason, don’t look for perfection or constant success. Expect only what your child is capable of for his age and stage of development.

8. Make it clear what your expectations and limits are – it helps to prevent problems.

Enforce these limits consistently but always respect your child. Try not to yell or humiliate her. And never use physical punishment.

9. When you spend time with your child, let him take the lead sometimes.

Choose what you’ll do together by talking about possible choices and exchanging points of view.

10. A child needs to be given choices as she builds confidence and independence.

Deciding what to wear each day is a good place to start. Offer your preschooler two or three choices that suit the weather and (hopefully) the occasion. Even if her choices aren’t what you’d prefer, be happy that your child is happy.

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Encouraging your preschooler to help with chores

by Maxine
Posted August 8 2011 02:22pm
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When it comes to getting your child involved in household chores, it's good to start when they are very young by introducing small tasks. Preschoolers can put dirty clothes in the laundry basket, put toys away and pitch in by helping with the dishes or hanging up clothes. Young children often want to "help" you with whatever you're doing. However, even if you did not involve your very young child in family chores, it's never too late to start.

Older children can do larger tasks, such as setting the table or dusting the bookshelves. By making children part of the family routine early, and building on responsibility gradually, chores do not seem as "bad."

It also helps if you and your partner have successfully worked out how to share chores, so that your child sees both of you working to keep the household going. Try to avoid stereotyping activities. Boys can really enjoy cooking or doing dishes and girls can equally enjoy learning about tools or cleaning up the yard.

Don't forget to instill fun with chores. Play music, dance around and joke while doing the chores. This teaches children that good feelings and work go together.

Avoid bribing your child to do chores. Instead let your child know that for a family to get along, all members have to do their share, and chores should be your child's way of helping the family. If you want to give your preschool child an allowance, do so to help him learn to appreciate and manage money, not for doing chores.

Have you included your preschool in some simple chores around the house? Have you had any luck? Let us know the strategies that you’ve used to encourage your child to pitch in around the house by leaving a comment below.

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Aggression and Your Preschooler: Tipsheet

by Maxine
Posted April 17 2012 05:58pm
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Download this tip sheet on preschoolers and aggression for Comfort, Play & Teach tips on coping with and preventing aggressive behaviour in your child.
Download the Preschoolers and Aggression Worksheet (PDF)

Check out the Preschoolers and Aggression Video for more on this topic!


Do you have an aggressive preschooler? Ask our experts for more information about handling it. Or leave a comment below about how you've handled aggressive behaviour with your child.

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