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Help! My toddler doesn’t like to speak

by Maxine
Posted September 5 2011 05:13pm
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Some children seem quiet and reluctant to talk. Some don't naturally and easily use language to express their needs and wants, to comment on things, to get information or to entertain others. Other children may use language comfortably, but only in familiar situations. Being quiet in new situations is very common in children, particularly young ones. But you may be concerned that your child is too quiet, too much of the time.

There are many reasons that a child may be reluctant to speak. Two fairly common reasons are:

  • When placed in a new situation, your child may be worried about what to do, or be concerned about being away from home or from parents. For a child, deciding not to speak is one way to feel some control over an unfamiliar, somewhat scary situation.
  • Your child may feel pressured or embarrassed to speak, like the fear that many of us feel of talking in front of a crowd.

The important thing to remember is that your child isn't trying to embarrass you by not cooperating, or "acting dumb." She is just dealing with the situation as best as she can, so be patient and understanding.

If the situation doesn't improve, or gets worse - for example, you notice your child only talks to one parent, or not at all while at day care - it's time to get some help. Consult your child's physician, or call the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists at 1-800-259-8519.

Does your child refuse to speak? Does he start talking after warming up to new people? Leave a comment below and share you experiences with other parents who are just like you!

 

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Creating a Smoke Free Environment for Your Baby Video

by Maxine
Posted August 8 2012 11:09am
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We have all heard about the dangers if we choose to smoke.  What are the risks of second hand or third hand smoke for babies and children? This video talks about

the risks of second hand and third hand smoke for children.  It offers strategies to help you as parents create a smoke free environment for your child.

 

 Video - Creating A Smoke Free Environment for Your Children

Used with Permission of Best Start Resource Centre Health Nexus http://www.beststart.org

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Preparing your toddler for a holiday dinner

by Maxine
Posted January 4 2012 04:16pm
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The ultimate goal of a family get together is to have a pleasant meal and enjoy each other's company. Stress occurs when young children misbehave, cause disruptions or don't comply with expectations. Our Comfort, Play & Teach approach can help you make the dinner more enjoyable for all.

You comfort your toddler when you recognize and support his needs, showing him that you respect and value him as a separate person. Preparing your toddler ahead of time for the dinner will help him feel a sense of security and comfort:

  • Tell him who will be coming for dinner.
  • Inform him that there will be lots of new and different foods to try.
  • Warn him that the meal will take a long time because grownups like to talk.

You can also prevent problems and comfort your toddler by understanding what is considered reasonable behaviour for this situation and for your child's age. For instance, it is unreasonable to expect a toddler to sit in a highchair or at the table for more than 20-30 minutes without wanting to be the centre of attention. By reading his signals and taking certain measures, you can prevent temper tantrums or outbursts from happening:

  • Give your child something nutritious to eat before the holiday dinner. That way, even if he doesn't want to try the foods being served, he will not feel too hungry.
  • Allow him to come and go from the table. He can play nearby in between courses and join the family when he is ready to eat some more.

Have some of his favourite activities ready beforehand, e.g. blocks, cars, crayons and paper. This way you can supervise and interact from a distance as he plays without causing too much disruption at the table.

Have you had dinner time successes or disasters with your toddler? Let us know by sharing your comment below!

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TV, videos and video games and your child

by Maxine
Posted January 3 2012 09:35pm
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Once you've realized that TV, videos and video games are probably going to be a part of your child's life, it's time to figure out how you're going to make sure they don't do more harm than good. The single most important thing you can do is become involved in what your child is watching at home and at school.

Try to watch, or be close by, whenever your child is watching TV or a video, and then make sure you talk to him about what he has seen. By doing so, you turn an otherwise solitary activity into a social and learning experience.

It's important that you're aware of what good options are available. For example, suggest or choose certain stations that don't have commercials during children's programming. And select children's videos and games that are educational as well as entertaining. Finding these alternatives may take time, but your efforts will be rewarded.

Try to organize activities for the time immediately after a TV program or video ends so your child is eager to get involved in something else.

Be wary of letting your child watch programs intended for adults. Many parents think that very young children can't understand the content of adult programs, such as soap operas, crime shows and newscasts. But research is discovering that children might actually be absorbing these scenes. With this in mind, tape "adult shows" for later viewing when infants and young children aren't present.

Finally, it is recommended that you limit your child's TV viewing to no more than two hours a day. This leaves plenty of time for her to do things like read, draw, play with others and exercise.

What are your thoughts on children’s television, video and video game habits? Share your thoughts below or ask one of our parenting experts for more information.

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