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Making mornings more pleasant for your toddler

by Maxine
Posted January 4 2012 02:12pm
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Here are several strategies that may help make your mornings a little easier on everyone:

It's important to allow enough time in the morning so that you don't have to rush, even if it means getting up a bit earlier than you already do. This will allow you to stay calm and avoid acting stressed around your child.

Create a workable schedule and explain it to your child, so she knows what to expect in the morning. For example, let your child know she has to get up, get dressed, eat breakfast and leave the house by 7:30 am. It's also a good idea to keep this routine as regular as possible.

Build in a little time for your child to play and give her the feeling she can come back to the game later.

Try to lay out clothes, prepare lunches and pack up anything else that goes with your child the night before.

Try to incorporate some fun into your morning rituals, such as singing songs and just getting a little silly together.

If your child seems tired, reassure him, but explain that he still has to get ready. And as frustrated as you might get, never yell at or physically hurt your child. Lastly, when you drop your child off, let him know that you're not angry with him and make it clear that you are coming back.

How do you get your mornings off to a good start with your toddler? Post your comment below to share your thoughts with other parents!

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Your 3-year-old

by Maxine
Posted January 3 2012 10:17pm
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By age three, your child is becoming more and more her own person and you'll be able to get a real sense of personality. Your child will gain self-esteem and a sense of who she is. Children are not as afraid of being abandoned now, and are generally optimistic and cheerful.

Your child is probably more willing to please you, but that won't stop him from expressing his own unhappiness and opinions about things. This is actually a step forward, because your child will learn to stand up for himself, so try not to discourage it totally.

Your three-year old will be sociable and capable of some cooperative play, although she still won't be great at taking turns or sharing. She may spend more time negotiating how to play, and with whom, than actually playing. For example, "I'm not playing with you today, I'm playing with her."

Your child will be getting better at pretend play, with themes and stories, not just roles. His play may often have a "danger and rescue" theme with him taking the lead as the strong character, like Superman or a lion. Try to give your child the opportunity for play, both alone and with others, as often as possible.

By now, your child will begin to understand simple rules and be better at controlling her impulses. There may be fewer tantrums, because she can express herself and her feelings better with words. She may label feelings, like "I'm mad" or "I'm tired."

Your child will also begin to understand that other people have feelings too. He will have more understanding of what "no" means, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll do what you're telling him. Setting consistent limits and expectations continues to be important at this stage of development.

Remember, each child is unique. Not all children develop at the same rate in each area, such as movement, communication and relating to others, so this information is meant only as a general guide. If you have concerns about your child's development, you should consult your child's doctor.

How did your 3-year-old behave? What do you remember about that age and stage? Leave a comment and share your experience with other parents just like you!

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Mornings with your preschooler: Trouble getting up & out

by Maxine
Posted January 3 2012 04:57pm
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These days, with both parents working in most families, mornings can be a difficult time as everyone tries to rush out the door. The result can be that each family member ends up unhappy and stressed -- as if you've already put in a day's work. But the bottom line is, you have to get to work, and your child has to get to school or childcare.

Consider the following reasons why small children dawdle in the morning:

  • Your child may not want to leave the comfort and safety of home for the outside world.
  • Your child may find it hard to move as fast as you want her to, because that speed doesn't match her natural rhythms.
  • Your child may still be tired and sleepy in the morning, so if you push him to hurry, he becomes stressed. If your child is tired almost every morning, he may need to go to bed earlier in order to get more sleep.
  • Your child may be worried that you think your work is more important than she is.

If your child seems tired, reassure him, but explain that he still has to get ready. And as frustrated as you might become, never yell at or physically hurt your child. Lastly, when you drop your child off, let him know that you're not angry with him and make it clear that you are coming back.

Learn more about making mornings more pleasant for you and your child. 

Share your comments below and let us know the strategies you’ve used to get up and out the door in the mornings with your preschooler.

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Preparing your preschooler for the arrival of a new baby

by Maxine
Posted January 2 2012 07:14pm
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When you’re expecting another child you want to prepare your preschooler for the changes that a new sibling will bring.

Our experts have created some tips to help you make the transition a little smoother.

  • Let your child know that the baby is coming two or three months before the birth. Talk about the changes that will take place in the household and answer any questions she may have about birth and reproduction in a way that suits her age.
  • Assure your child that you will love him just the same.
  • Make your child feel important by saying, "You're going to be a big brother (or sister)." Let your child know he has a role and a relationship with the new baby.
  • Have your child help in choosing a name and in picking out baby clothes. Let your child feel the baby kicking.
  • Take your child to visit someone else's new baby so he can learn what to expect and get used to the size and sounds of an infant.
  • If you are the mother, encourage your partner to spend more time with your child before the birth so she becomes used to that before you get too busy with the baby.
  • If your child is going to be moved out of a crib and into a bed, it's best to do this long before the new baby arrives. This gives your older child time to become attached to the "new bed." This way he won't think the move out of a favourite sleeping place (the crib) was because of the new baby.
  • Read children's books that are about new babies to your child. 

How did your preschooler react when you became pregnant? When you brought home the baby? Share your story with other parents by leaving a comment below.

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