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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.

Also See: 

 

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Help! My preschooler a picky eater?

by Maxine
Posted December 22 2010 03:37pm
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Most parents know that mealtime with young children can be difficult. You worry that your child isn't eating enough food, or the right kind. Or maybe you think your child is eating too much of one kind of food. Often you may feel that nothing seems to work. She won't let you feed her, and she refuses to eat what you give her.

The first thing you need to do is relax. Don't call her a "picky eater" or she may become one for life. There are many reasons why your child may not be eating the way you expect him to:

Every child is different in how often, when and what she wants to eat. Some take a real dislike to certain types of foods - maybe it's the texture or the odour. Some prefer to eat only a couple of things. Fortunately, most children grow out of being this particular about food, and develop regular and healthy eating habits.

Kids go through growth spurts. During these times, they eat a lot. At other times, they hardly seem hungry at all.

Another factor in your child's eating habits can be his struggle to be independent, especially between ages one and three. Refusing to eat can be your child's way of asserting himself. Avoid a power struggle during mealtimes. Giving reasonable choices may help, such as, "Would you like milk or juice?"

The best thing you can do is make sure your child has different healthy foods to choose from so, when she does want to eat, at least she's getting the nutrients she needs. Limit your child's options to two or three items at a time, more can be overwhelming.

If your child is losing weight, not maintaining his weight or overeating, consult your child's health care provider.

 

How do you handle your picky eater? What strategies work for you? Leave a comment below and share your story with parents just like you!

 

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Making mealtime nutritious and pleasant for your preschooler

by Maxine
Posted December 22 2010 06:28pm
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Here are some practical suggestions for helping your children to enjoy eating nutritious food at mealtimes:

Have meals and snacks at regular times, which helps children's bodies learn to expect when they will be fed.

Offer your children only nutritious snacks between meals which won't let them get too full. This includes carrot sticks, apple slices, peanut butter on celery, and fruity yogurt. 

Encourage your children to feed themselves as much as possible, whether with fingers or utensils. Acknowledge your child’s behaviour-“You ate all your vegetables by yourself tonight, you are getting so grown up.”

Try to relax about the amount your children eat, and which foods they eat. This keeps the tension levels down and makes mealtimes more enjoyable for the whole family.

Try to give your children at least one thing you know they like at meals, as well as something you'd like to introduce them to. But don't worry if they don't eat the new food. Sometimes it takes several exposures before little children learn to like a food.

Let your children tell you when they are full. But before they leave the table, make it clear that they will not be allowed to return for snacks until some reasonable time has passed.

Try to make sure your children have eaten at least a little solid food before giving them a drink. Drinks can be very filling.

And, try not to nag your children about eating. Avoid being very disappointed or angry when they don't eat much of what you have prepared. It will be easier for both of you over the long run, if you can take their refusal somewhat lightly.

 

We know that mealtimes and be especially challenging for parents. How do you make mealtimes happier and healthier for you and your child? Share your comments below!

 

Ask Our Expert!
Do you still have questions about nutrition and your preschooler? Our expert, Karen Soper, is a Holistic Nutritionist and has been practicing holistic nutrition since 2003. Ask Karen a Question!

 

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Coping with and Preventing Night Terrors

by Maxine
Posted September 5 2011 03:10pm
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If your child is thrashing and screaming in the night, but when you go to him he seems awake, but isn’t, he might be experiencing night terrors. These are different and more serious than nightmares.

Night terrors happen when your child is in a deep sleep. His eyes might be open and he may be thrashing around or showing extreme fear, but he is not awake. This can go on for just a few minutes or for up to an hour. He won’t recognize or know who you are while this is happening.

"Night terrors can be really scary for parents," says Karon Foster, a Registered Nurse and Parenting Expert, "when your child is terrified and doesn’t seem to know who you are it can be difficult to know what to do."

Our experts suggest that, while it may be your first instinct, you shouldn’t try to wake your child. He may seem very agitated and upset, but it is better to watch and make sure he is safe and doesn’t fall out of bed.

If he does wake up, comfort and reassure him that everything will be all right and that you’re there and he’s safe. Stay with him until he falls back to sleep. Try rubbing his back or singing softly to comfort him. Often children who have night terrors will fall asleep more quickly afterwards than a child who has had a nightmare. He will probably not even remember having had the night terror.

While nightmares are often caused by emotional stress or by things like scary stories or violent TV, night terrors are thought to have a biological basis – they may even run in families. They can also be caused by a change in sleep routines, overtiredness and fatigue, fever and even certain medications. They are most common between the ages of three and five and most children will outgrow them.

Night terrors usually happen at about the same time each night, a few hours after falling asleep, so some doctors suggest scheduled wakings. Keep track of when the terrors occur to establish the time and then wake your child about 15-30 minutes prior to the usual time when a night terror occurs. Talk to him and try to keep him awake for five minutes or more before letting him go back to sleep. This strategy may need to be continued for about a month. This can help prevent the night terrors. Try to insure that you child is getting enough sleep, and is not becoming fatigued or overtired.

Be sure to talk to your health care provider if your child is having night terrors and especially if your child experiences drooling, jerking or stiffening during the terrors or if they occur more than twice in a week.

Click here for more information on nightmares and night terrors

Did your child experience night terrors? What did you do? Share your experience with other parents by leaving a comment below.

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