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What’s a good way to deal with tantrums?

What’s a good way to deal with tantrums?

Don’t Give Them An Audience

One thing that helped me when my daughter went through this phase was to make sure she didn’t have an audience for her tantrum. I’d put her in her room. If she screamed for an hour, she screamed for an hour; I would not enter the room or call for her to be quiet. Eventually, she would tire out. At first she would try to come out of her room, but I would pick her up and carry her back. The first time she came out, I’d say, “Stay in your room until I give you permission to come out.” If she came out after that, I would simply pick her up, carry her to her room and place her there without saying a word or giving any sort of facial expression to indicate my frustration. Sometimes it took several times, but eventually, she learned that I could be more stubborn than she is and she gave up.-Maggie

Talk Him Through It 

It’s hard for children to understand at this age, but they need to learn that they can’t always have what they want. My 19-month-old has thrown some horrible tantrums. He doesn’t hit or try to hurt me, but he will try to push me away. He gets extremely distressed – there’s nothing fake about it. I’ve found that he’s usually upset because he is trying to get something across to me that he just doesn’t have the words for yet. Most of the time, if I talk to him calmly and start going over things with him, I hit on what he’s trying to communicate and he lets me know that I got it right. Then I go over the word he needs, over and over, until he starts trying to repeat it to me. Sometimes I just can’t let him do or have what he wants and he still gets upset, but not for nearly as long as he would have. At those times that I can’t please him, I tell him why he can’t have or do what he wants, and leave it at that. – Sarah S.

Time out 

Your son is at an age where he wants to be independent, but physically he just isn’t able to. Try letting him take part in some of the decisions you make for him, like picking out his clothes or which veggies to serve with dinner. If you don’t want him to be totally in charge of these things, let him pick between two choices that you find acceptable. This will make him feel as if he has a voice and some control over what happens to him. Under age 2 is still kind of young to understand what a time-out is, but a minute to cool out can be very effective. – Jessica H.

The Expert Opinion

When it comes to toddler tantrums, one of the most important things to remember is that children are born with a limited ability to control their emotions, especially when they are upset. “They are like tiny cavemen,” says Dr. Harvey Karp, creator of the book and DVD “The Happiest Toddler on The Block.” “We have to teach toddlers how to be civilized and handle their emotions.”

Dr. Karp discourages time-outs for tantrums. “You may need to punish a child’s behavior, but emotions shouldn’t be punished unless the child is being disruptive or aggressive.” Instead, he encourages parents to speak “toddler-ese” to help their little ones navigate through the tantrum. This means speaking like your toddler – using short phrases and repetition, and mirroring the child’s tone of voice and gestures to acknowledge the emotion. Most important, don’t distract, yell or talk overly calmly to the toddler in the midst of a meltdown. “Just like adults, toddlers have a hard time recovering from their upsets until their feelings have been acknowledged,” says Dr. Karp. Talking calmly could frustrate a child, because it does not effectively communicate that you are acknowledging his feelings.

If a toddler continues to tantrum, practice the ‘kind ignore” – after you speak toddler-ese, step away for a few seconds (to take away the audience) and then come back and repeat your words of acknowledgement. Continue the cycle of going away and coming back until the child begins to calm down.

Tooth Care for Children

Tooth Care for Children

Dental health is vital for general health and appearance in childhood and all through life. Preventive dentistry is so good these days that our kids can look forward to keeping those pearly whites bright and shiny all their lives. And we now know so much about keeping fear and pain out of dental care that kids should really have no reason to worry when it’s time for one of those twice-a-year visits.

Here are a few things you can do to be sure your child gets the right care and develops an attitude that will ensure that his smile stays bright for a lifetime.

Pick a kid-friendly dentist.
There are pediatric dentists who have additional training and interest in kids’ dental issues. If you don’t have one in your community, look for a dentist whose waiting room, staff attitude, and comfort with children tell you this will be a good experience. Your healthcare provider will have suggestions.

Visit ahead of time.
Bring a child in before the time of the appointment to get acquainted with the place.

Examine your own attitude about the dentist.
Many parents have some memories of bad dental experiences, and they can give unspoken negative messages about the dental chair. The parent who can be the most positive about the visit should be the one to go with the child.

Respect those baby teeth. 
Even though your child will lose his first teeth, proper care for them, including fillings, coatings, and extraction of teeth that have died, are all part of ensuring that the teeth underneath and the jaw grow well and stay healthy. Be ready for suggestions about care that weren’t options when you were a kid. Ask about fluoride rinses.

Here are a few things you can do at home between visits to keep things sparkly:

    • Teach kids to brush twice a day. Good times are after breakfast and before bed. Supervise the brushings for kids under 7.
    • Use a soft-bristle brush. Hard ones scrape the gums and can foster bacteria. Replace the brush every three to six months, or sooner if it wears out.
    • Put a timer in the bathroom. Set it for two to three minutes. That’s what it takes to get things really clean.
    • Check on fluoride. Contact your healthcare provider about using fluoride supplements. The kind and amount will depend upon the fluoride content in your local water. Don’t assume you don’t need it if your child drinks bottled water with fluoride, as it may not be enough.
  • Avoid sticky, sugary foods. Some kinds of gummy candy or fruit rolls are mostly sugar and stick all day to the chewing surface of the teeth.

With good dental care at home and in the dental office — as well as the right amount of fluoride — your child should go through adulthood with a white, bright smile.

by Suzanne Dixon, M.D., M.P.H.

Age appropriate chores for 7-10 year olds

Age appropriate chores for 7-10 year olds

  • Make beds
  • Wash sink
  • Fold laundry
  • Vaccum
  • Set table
  • Meal prep
  • Clean counters
  • Clean their own room
  • Dust
  • Straighten up drawers in dresser
  • Sort laundry
  • Empty trash cans
  • Wash toilet
  • Mop floors
  • Wash dishes
  • Put away clothes
  • Clean mirrors
  • Make simple meals
  • Clean up after pet
10 Signs Your Toddler is Ready for Potty Training

10 Signs Your Toddler is Ready for Potty Training

Taking off Dirty Diapers Himself

A sure sign that your toddler is becoming aware of what’s going on is taking off dirty diapers himself. If it’s a poopie diaper, let him watch you put the poop in the potty to see where it goes. Praise him for understanding that dirty diapers are uncomfortable, and let him know using the potty is a great way to avoid that icky feeling.

Telling You Her Diaper is Dirty

Before she starts letting you know she has to go, she’ll begin letting you know she’s already gone. Once she’s aware that she’s gone to the bathroom ask her how she felt right before she went. Recognizing how it feels when she needs to go is an important step.

Showing Interest in Seeing Her Own Waste

Gross, right? But being interested in what’s coming out shows a level of awareness of the process as a whole. Let her have a peek and let her know the potty is a great place to put waste. Try not to tell her it’s stinky or dirty—encourage her to feel positive about everything surrounding this new adventure.

Showing Interest in Your Potty Behavior

Modeling after mom and dad comes naturally. Playing dress up or pretending to talk on the phone just like the adults can be fun—use that to your advantage. Don’t discourage him from asking questions about what’s going on in the bathroom. Answer everything in a matter of fact way so he knows that the potty is a normal part of daily life.

Being Dry After Sleeping

A great sign that your toddler has developed bladder control is when they start waking up dry. Being dry after a nap will happen a lot earlier than being dry overnight, so look for that first. Encouraging your toddler to sit on the potty right after napping can reinforce bladder control.

Understanding Multi-Step Commands

There’s a lot to do surrounding the potty. You have to get undressed, sit down, wipe, get dressed, wash your hands—that’s a lot to remember and do. When you start to notice that your toddler does all of the steps when you say, “Please pick up that toy, put it in the box, and close the lid,” that’s a good sign that she’s intellectually prepared to take on the entire process of potty training.

Undressing Himself

It’s kind of obvious; if you can’t undress yourself, you’re going to wet your pants. It’s a skill that takes some forethought and coordination, but once your toddler has mastered it there’s a chance your house will become a bit of a nudist colony. It’s another step toward living diaper-free, so take a chance on naked time—just set a timer so you get your toddler on the potty at regular intervals.

Understanding Potty-Related Words

If your toddler doesn’t have the right vocabulary words it’s going to be difficult to discuss potty training with him. Figure out which words work best for your family. Cutesy words like, “pee-pee” and “poo-poo” work fine. If you’re feeling more academic, go with “urination” and “defecation.”

Pooping with Purpose

Children tend to quickly pick up how to pee on the potty, but going number two is an entirely different thing. Many children need time to figure out the mechanics of how to poop with purpose. Watch for signs like your diapered toddler going to a secluded area of the house, squatting, and/or grunting. This means your toddler is becoming aware of the muscles needed to get the job done when sitting on the throne.

Seeking Independence

Have you gotten to the, “Me, Me, Me” stage yet? Is your toddler’s response to every attempt at help a resounding, “No! I do it!”? Independence, and the desire to be a big kid, is a key factor in your child’s desire to be out of diapers. Use it to your advantage and you’ll be rid of diapers in no time.

6 tips to encourage your child to talk

6 tips to encourage your child to talk

Speaking is a very important indicator of your child´s development. These 6 tips will help your little one start talking:

Recap on the day: everyday is a new adventure for your 1-2 year-old child. Every night, before going to bed, talk about the activities done during the day. You can even ask questions such as ¨what did you buy?¨, ¨who did you go with?¨, ¨did you like the apple?¨.

Take breaks when you read: after reading many times the same book, your child may have memorized the story. Start reading his/her favorite story and pause to have him/her fill the blanks.

Use word games: have your child say the name of the place you are on that moment (airport, store, park) and ask him/her the name of different things or animals. If your child doesn´t know the right name, whisper the answer and let him/her say it loud. Explain what it is for (¨This is an umbrella. We use it to cover us from the rain¨).

Talk on the phone: most of the children feel attracted by telephones, even before they learn to speak. When relatives or friends call you, make your child talk on the phone for a while. Have your baby tell something to the person who he/she is talking to (¨Tell grandma you have a new doll¨, ¨Tell daddy what you ate today¨).

Include your child in conversations: children hear everything and understand more than you think they do. If you and your partner are talking about the color you are going to paint the bathroom, ask your child questions related to the conversation (¨What color is the bathroom wall?¨, ¨What color should we paint it?¨). Make your little one feel his/her opinion is important.

Make videos: since most of the kids like to be recorded by a camera, you can pretend your child is on the tv and have him/her perform his/her favorite character, or sing a song.


Why is it important to read to toddlers‏?

Why is it important to read to toddlers‏?

Books for children are our first introduction to the art of storytelling. Reading to children helps develop imagination, listening skills, and a lifelong love of books. Just as important, kids love being read to. When you read to kids, you are spending quality time just for the two of you

Tips to Help You Read to Kids
  • If your child isn’t used to being read to, be positive as you share the news you’re going to be reading together. Tell your child that this is special time for the both of you, and how much fun it will be.
  • Make reading your quiet time together. Ensure you aren’t competing with the TV, music, or any other distracting noise.
  • You may not realize how interested your child might be in books for children. Give them time to look at their books from home or the library, and limit their choice to one or two each night. Bedtime is a perfect time to sit quietly and read to your baby, toddler, or school-aged child.
  • Most kids love hearing you use different voices for the characters in the book, and this will help them follow the story.
  • Make reading a daily habit. Read at the same time every day and your child will soon make sure you don’t forget it’s time for a book!
  • Encourage your child to ask questions and be a part of the reading experience. Puppets are a fun way to act out the story after you’ve read it.
  • Invite friends and family to read with your children when they visit.
  • If your children are very young, it’s better to spend a shorter time reading one book than forcing it when they’re distracted or tired.