Category Archives: 3-5 years

WHEN TODDLERS HIT

Toddlers could display aggressive behaviour for a number of reasons

Toddlers could display aggressive behaviour for a number of reasons

It comes as a shock to many parents when they first learn that their toddler has been hitting others. Most times, toddlers start displaying aggressive behaviour when they are exposed to a new environment (read: playschools). This is a common problem and parents need not stress over it.

Your toddler is still struggling with his linguistic skills and cannot properly communicate what he wishes to. This is also the stage when your little one is learning to be independent and begins making decisions of his own. All of this combines with the impulse to try and control the others make children of this age get physical. A little hitting and biting is completely normal for a toddler, but parents should not ignore this behaviour. Parents should let their toddler know that aggressive behaviour is unacceptable through different ways.

Apoorva came to us with the same problem, recently her 2.7 year old tot has developed the habit of hitting his peers at his school and she is looking out for help. Our SOS Moms gave their two cents to Apoorva on this issue.

Deepti Pathak advices Apoorva to simply stay calm, “Wait for another six months. Your problem is very common”, whereas Rekha Meena observes, “I just can’t understand why today kids develop the habit of hitting others. I’m a mother of 2 kids and both of them are very disciplined. When they misbehave initially, stop them immediately so they come to know what is wrong and right. Mother is the first teacher.”

Harsha Rajiv on the other hand has a logic we parents often overlook, “Usually when a kid gets hurt, elders in the house to console the kid say ‘Wait I’ll hit this thing that hurt you’ and thinking the kid will stop crying. This is really bad. Do divert the attention of kid saying something else, I tell my kid to stop crying so the magical fairy can come. I think problem is if the kid doesn’t like something he hits, even if it is a person. You have to convey a message to the kid with the support of teacher saying that hitting hurts. You have to keep trying to make him understand, don’t give up.”

Bhuvaneshwari Narayanan says, “It may be a reflection of what your kid sees around him. Home environment, wordy duels between parents, cartoons exhibiting hitting behaviours or may be he is hit by either of the parents or elders at home when he troubles you. We have to start talking to the kid who exhibits such rude behaviour. Even if you shout at him or punish him, it is not going to help. Don’t hit him back, instead take time to spend more time with him. Whenever he is cranky give him something to eat. Again don’t feed him with foods loaded with sugar. Give him homemade food. Take him to a park, play area and indulge in physical playing. This will calm him down. Especially swinging him in a swing for 20 minutes minimum daily would definitely calm his aggression.”

A little patience can change your child's behaviour.

A little patience can change your child’s behaviour.

Toddlers can be a handful to their parents. With all the energy and enthusiasm toddlers possess, it can be difficult to deal with them. But no parent should take their kid’s aggressive behaviour lightly, parents should explain to their children the consequences of hitting immediately. Sending quality time and a few measures can solve this problem once and for all.

We thank all the moms who came to Apoorva’s rescue:
Bhuvaneshwari Narayanan, Harsha Rajiv, Deepti Pathak, Rekha Meena, Robe Samarth Gaonkar and Rajnideep Sandhu.

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CONSTIPATION IN TODDLERS

Dealing With Constipation In Toddlers

Dealing With Constipation In Toddlers

Constipation is a very common concern among the moms of toddlers. Some of the common causes of constipation in toddlers are toilet anxiety, dehydration and diet. Swati’s two and half your old child has the problem and she came to SOS moms for their advice on the same. Let’s take a look at what our SOS moms have to say to Swati.

Moms Noopur Agarwal, Sowjanaya Kumar, Tanuja Karunakar, Anita Rankar, Shaveta Rahajan, Ritu Mishra Tripathi Sahrvani Aneel, Leena Parikh, Ameena Sayeed, Deepshikha Das, Sakshi Batra, Tanushree Ganguli and Sayonee Mishra all agree that Swati’s little one should be given ripe bananas and papaya in different forms to ease his problem. Both banana and papaya are rich in fibre and can help with constipation. These two fruits can also be given in the form of milk shakes, juice and any other form to make them seem less boring to your active bub.

Also moms like Tanushree Ganguli, Jyoti Kapil, Mridula Shirwali, agree that spinach and greens will help Swati’s child to a great extent.
Moms Sneha Satam, Sathya Ramu, Srividya Mushunuru suggest Swati to feed that the child should be fed black raisins soaked in water every morning. Chetana Suvarana Ganatara suggests that a porridge made of oats and prunes (packed with fibre) will help. Shanti Gupta says dried figs soaked in water overnight will also work wonders.

Preeti Khanna and Manasi Joshi suggest that the little one should be given milk with two drops of ghee in it. Milk may cause constipation but milk with ghee has a reverse impact. Sweta Bharadwaj, Sonia Sonu pipe in with their suggestion of feeding the tot with curd regularly.

Diana Samuel says, “Try 1/2 tsp honey in 1/2 tsp warm water on empty stomach in the morning. It worked for my child when she had severe constipation. Note: water must be warm not too hot nor cold. Give him lots of warm water throughout the day. Hope it might help.” Harsha Rajiv suggests, “ Water intake should be increased. Fruit juice, fresh fruits in puree form is also effective. Fibrous food like palak and other greens in soup can be given. Also Palak kichdi, carrot soup, carrot milkshake etc work. Do include greens  in your baby’s diet at least once a week.

Other SOS moms also agree that Swati’s little one should be given warm water throughout the day in equal intervals. Also the child should be made to sit on his potty seat everyday even if he doesn’t pass stool to build a habit. Constipation can be easily resolved with a few key changes in diet and momma’s care of course!

We thank all the SOS moms who rushed in to aid Swati with her problem:

A Healthy Diet Rich in Fibre Keeps Constipation at Bay

A Healthy Diet Rich in Fibre Keeps Constipation at Bay

Tanushree Ganguli, Jyoti Kapil, Mridula Shirwali, Noopur Agarwal, Sowjanaya Kumar, Tanuja Karunakar, Anita Rankar, Shaveta Rahajan, Ritu Mishra Tripathi, Sahrvani Aneel, Leena Parikh, Ameena Sayeed, Deepshikha Das, Sakshi Batra, Tanushree Ganguli and Sayonee Mishra, Sneha Satam, Sathya Ramu, Srividya Mushunuru, Harsha Rajiv, Diana Samuel, Pratibha Gautam, Swati Agarwal, Shama Mittal, Nausheen Sharieff, Amrita Singh, Sarika Singh, Dia Bijlani, Namrata Mandowara, Chetna Ganatara, Bindiya Yadav, Sakshi Batra, Simpy Jalan and Reema Verma.

How Do I Stop my Toddler from Sucking Thumb

How to Stop Thumb Sucking

How to Stop Thumb Sucking

Roshini, a worried mom of a 17-month old toddler, says, “My daughter was a thumbsucker since the beginning -literally. Tucked away in my memories book is an ultrasound image of her’s sucking her thumb to glory in the womb. Now, a year and a half later, she’s still not ready to let it go.”

The answer to Roshini’s and other numerous moms’ problem is rather straightforward. Thumb sucking is a very common reflex that kids engage in when they face a stressful situation. They do this to calm down, fall asleep or just to feel good. It makes them feel safe and comfortable. Also, most of the times, sucking thumb is considered harmless in terms of a child’s growth and speech development.

Paediatricians from all over are of the consensus that as the kid crosses the two year age mark, they start developing other coping skills beyond thumb or finger sucking. They also purport that as long as the child stops the thumb sucking habit by the time he develops his permanent teeth, there would be minimal or no impact on his mouth and jaw.”

One of our SOS Moms, Vandana Anand, mom of 2 kids, says, “Help your kid in resolving his thumb sucking problem and leave it to his will. Don’t force! Give enough love and your baby will leave sucking his thumb”.

Another SOS Mom, Rajnideep Sandhu, doubles up with Vandana Anand and says, “The main thing is when children don’t get the proper attention, they develop such habits. So, just check if your child wants to say something to you, it’s usually a big deal for them!”

We also have Meghna Kattimani who puts forth a different perspective to the problem.

Coping with Thumb Sucking in Children

Coping with thumb sucking in children

She says, “Identify the triggers – If your kid sucks his thumb in response to stress, identify that triggering factor and provide comfort in other ways — such as a hug or reassuring words. You might also try giving your kid a pillow or stuffed animal to squeeze.”

Lastly, Urvashi Patole proposes, “Maybe you can put a little garlic or any bitter tasting edible on your kid’s thumb. Very soon he will stop sucking his thumb. However, adopt this method only when your kid has become a preschooler (3-5 yrs), but still continues to have this problem.”

So you see Roshini, forcing is not the solution! In most cases, the kid automatically gives up the habit as he grows. There’s no urgency to kick the habit this early, i.e. Before the child turns three.

My Toddler Stutters and Stammers! What Do I Do?

How to Overcome Stammering in Kids

How to Overcome Stammering in Kids

‘Temporary Stuttering’ is very common in kids between the ages 2 to 5. It normally affects two in every 20 kids. For many kids, it is just a part of learning the use of new words while putting them together to form sentences. It is usually seen that this stuttering and stammering phase outgrows with time and rarely persists into adulthood.

Let’s first understand the reason behind why kids stammer and stutter. Experts believe that a variety of factors are responsible for this speech disorder to happen, genetics being the major causative aspect. It is seen that 60% of kids who stammer are bound to have either of the parents or a close family member who stammered in their childhood.

Besides genetics, some neurological factors are also responsible for the stuttering and stammering in kids. Research says that kids who stammer process language differently; as in there seems to be a problem with the way language is transmitted through their brains. However, they are not able to pinpoint why this occurs.

This time around too, our SOS Moms come to your rescue

First, we have Anubhuti Seth Mehn, who says, “If your daughter is old enough to go to a play school, do that. Kids tend to pick up things with other kids at a faster pace. Or every evening make it a point to take her to a park where she can find other kids to play with. She’ll build her diction there.”

Another SOS Mom, Priyanka Tamhane says, “It’s always better to take a speech therapist’s expert advise. The doctor will actually guide you if it’s a worrisome thing and will accordingly advise what needs to be done.”

Mum, Shabnam Desai, proposes, “If it is the righttime then you should admit her in a play school. It helps to develop the language of a child. Secondly, there are cases where kids stammer due to stress and anxiety. It may be due to some reasons she cannot express what she wants to say. So please try to comfort her and talk to her, things will be better. Do not make her conscious about her stammering, that will make the matter worst. If she is older, then you should consult a speech therapist.”

Overcoming Stammering Problem in Kids

Overcoming Stammering Problem in Kids

Anisha Rodrigues E Pinto suggests, “First don’t make her feel uncomfortable or aware of her speech as wrong. Second, it’s better to take advice from a speech therapist. Third, keep talking to her and don’t focus on correcting. Fourth, let her socialise more often.”

Lastly, we have Bizns Bizns, who says, “Please try homeopathy, works without side effects.”

Also, there seems to be a connection between the kid stuttering and stammering and hefeeling tired, pressured, excited or upset. It also happens because their vocabulary is limited, i.e. They think faster than they can talk. So, don’t point out her stuttering and stammering, and don’t interrupt, it can worsen the condition, because it’ll hamper the kid’s self-confidence. And that’s the last thing we want to happen!

What to do when your Kid is a Late Talker

Dealing with Late Talking Children

Dealing with Late Talking Children

Parents of late-talking children are always in a state of dilemma on whether they should ‘wait and see’ if the kid picks up speed in language development on his own, or if they should meet a speech therapist right away. Many of these parents are told not to worry as each kid develops at his/her own pace. Nonetheless, their gut instinct is always to seek help as they strive to do the best for their child.

The ‘wait and see’ approach for late talkers is borne out of a stereotyped observation about typical language development in children. While it is passable that children do develop at their own pace, there are certain age milestones that should be reached by a specific age.  It is also true that there are many late talking toddlers who catch up on their own, a few do not.

In this write-up, when we speak about language delay, we aren’t talking about language disorders or physical and developmental delays like Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Autism or those with childhood apraxia. These conditions require special kind of therapeutics and doctoring. We only speak about those children who seem to lag behind a little in their spoken (or “expressive”) language.

Let’s quickly go through what our SOS Moms have to say about late talkers –

Mum, Anima Bhardwaj, says, “Just one answer! Don’t compare your kid to others for anything. Each child is different and develops differently. Just make sure that he is medically fit. If everything is okay, just relax. Some kids are late talkers… late walkers… late eaters… and so on”.

We have Somita Suri, who suggests, “Depends on what you mean by ‘doesn’t talk very well’. Most kids develop at their own pace just like when they take their first steps. However, do look out for other signs in your child with respect to social behaviour, because it could be linked to autism.”

Next, Julie Ekka Tanti proposes her viewpoint by saying, “Just like my kid who is four years old now, but doesn’t show any signs of eating on her own. I have to force her for each meal! She doesn’t chew and is used to swallowing. I’m pretty much worried, as kids of her age are fond of chocolates and so many edibles, but my child says no to all.”

Overcoming Late Talking in Children

Overcoming Late Talking in Children

Shilpi Saha shows a different dimension of the problem by saying, “It depends on how much you all talk at home. If yours is a silent type of house, then give your kid some more time. Moreover, if your kid has completed other milestones and is okay in other behaviours, then don’t worry, give a bit more time. My Lil’ brother also had the same problem because our house was a silent kind of house”.

Last, we have mums, Tanvi Nigam, Pooja Rathod and Noopur Agarwal, who collectively reinstate that parents should not worry about late talking in children. They jointly agree that things will take time and that parents should just have patience.

We conclude by saying that every child is unique in his/her own way and that parents should never compare their child with another child. Keep training your kid the requisite language skills and cherish that kiddish ‘blabber’. Once it’s gone, you’ll miss it badly!

How do I get my Kid to Stop Bedwetting

Child Bed Wetting Solutions

Child Bed Wetting Solutions

Many a times, it is seen that even though the kid is toilet-trained in the day-time, he faces difficulty holding pee in for a long period at night-time, when he sleeps. Such toilet-training accidents happen due to various reasons, while heredity being a major contributor.

If the parents have had a history of bedwetting that continued until their ages of five or six, it is highly likely that the kid will inherit the same tendency. Other possible reasons include, not being developmentally ready to sense a full bladder or having a tendency to sleep so deeply, that responding to the bladder’s signals and mastering night-time toilet control becomes elusive.

It is seen that bedwetting is more common in boys (about six to seven out of ten kids who wet their beds are male). Also, it is observed that by the age of five or six, 90 percent of the kids stop the bed-wetting habit on their own. Nonetheless, nobody knows for sure why the rest 10 percent continue to have a problem.

As always, we have our SOS Moms guiding you with a few bed wetting solutions 

Shobha Suresh, a proud mum of two kids, says, “Stop scolding your toddler because they bed wet. They are just kids who don’t know a thing. If we can’t be patient with kids at our age, we can’t teach them to have patience later.”

While Somita Suri suggests, “Bear with him. Telling off a toddler is pointless as this is something out of his control and could cause anxiety problems.”

Next, we have Meenakshi Srikantan, who says, “I think it depends on your child’s age. If he is above two and a half, you can slowly reduce the liquid intake before sleep and also make him use the toilet before getting into bed. If you use an AC in your room or live in a cold place, then it is going to cause bed-wetting, despite doing everything until they learn to wake you up to use the toilet.”

Meenakshi further suggests, “If you are really worried, I suggest you talk to your paediatrician regarding urinary incontinence. But maybe wait until he is a bit older, perhaps and like mentioned here, try training him to use the toilet at night at some interval.”

How to Prevent Bed Wetting

How to Prevent Bed Wetting

Shantala Murugendra proposes her viewpoint by saying, “Few kids do it till the age of 10. So, better reduce liquid and cold intake at least 2 hours before sleep, but make sure they drink enough water at day time. And being a parent, it’s our duty to keep an alarm and make them go to the toilet at night. Slowly their minds get trained to get up and go to the toilet at midnight.”

Lastly, moms Georgina Jha, Pratibha Tyagi and Robe Samarth Gaonkar collectively recommend the use of a diaper for the kid and a rubber sheet to protect the mattress at night.

Make sure your child is ready for getting toilet-trained. Frustration on your part isn’t the key here! Your child has to be motivated to stop the bedwetting habit. If he’s not bothered, stick with disposable diapers until he’s ready. He’ll let you know when it’s time.

Getting a Picky Eater Kid to Try New Foods

Getting a Picky Kid to Eat Different Foods

SOS – Getting a Picky Kid to Eat Different Foods

Food jag – a common eating behaviour where the kid only wants to eat one food item for every meal. More often than not, it’s the toddlers and preschoolers who tend go on food jags and only like foods that are of a certain colour or texture. This behaviour is usually impulsive. At times, it can be so sudden that the kid would decide to hate even the foods they loved till one day prior.

Fries suddenly become their favourite ‘vegetable’. Anything green is met with clenched teeth and a loathful face. Whining stops only when a dessert appears and chocolate comes to be considered as a separate food group. While this behaviour is normal, parents should deal with it patiently.

Research suggests that it takes at least 10 – 15 tries before a picky kid eats, or at least gets to like a new food. Also, the lost affinity for any food often returns after a gap of around a fortnight. Our point: Don’t be pushy, but persistent in helping your child love new foods. Although it is a frustrating phase in your kid’s development, understand that it’ll get better with time.

Our SOS Moms share their opinions on dealing with picky eaters

We have Rajnideep Sandhu, who suggests, “Try to take your meals with your baby. Because I have seen that children always want to taste from others plates, though they make a mess, but it’s OK with us.. Isn’t it? ”

Prabha Peri, mum of a 2-year-old, says, “Try to fill his plate with different food items neatly garnished and in colourful or attractive cups or plates.. Once he tries to taste a single item and if he feels it tasty, he will definitely start eating it.. I tried the same with my 2-year-old.”

One of our SOS Moms, Pratibha Gautam, came up with a fantastic idea of mixing the kid’s favourite food with the other food you want him to eat. This will disguise the new food in a way that your kid will down it chop-chop.

Last, we have Anima Bhardwaj, who says, “If he has started picking up food on his own and could eat it, try giving him finger food. Whatever you want him to try, make it in the shape of small balls or small sticks that he could pick up easily. Let him make a mess… Kids enjoy it! Just put the food in front of him and leave him alone with it. Don’t sit in front of him or force him to eat… Let him take his time.”

Making your Picky Eater try New Foods

SOS – Making your Picky Eater try New Foods

If you’re very concerned about what your picky toddler eats, maintain a diary of all the food and drink items he has over a week. Make sure he has something from each of the four main food groups, i.e. starch/carbohydrates, proteins, dairy and fruits and veggies. If you know that he has eaten food from all these food groups, you shouldn’t be worrying about his nutrition.

Sometimes, it’s alright to allow the picky eater to choose foods that appeal to them. When averaged over several meals, you’ll realise that they choose well. Trust those little bodies and discern that the child’s world and his gastronomic horizons will expand as he grows and starts attending preschool.

How do I Resolve Sibling Rivalry in my Kids

Handling Sibling Conflicts

Handling Sibling Conflicts

In families with more than one child, sibling rivalry is commonplace. At the outset, you just see two kids fighting, however on looking beneath the surface of things, you’ll realize the riposte feeling that is at the core of sibling rivalry in children.

Expression of retaliatory behaviour by the submissive one to counteract the sense of constantly being the victim of the dominant other, is what breeds sibling fights. This repugnant behaviour, clubbed with the feeling that he is loved less by his parents intensifies his pathos.

Nonetheless, for parents it is one of the biggest parenting struggles to sort. But it is upon them to turn the conflict scenarios into training opportunities. Parents should repeatedly teach their children to honour and speak well of one another.

When asked if parents should intervene in resolving sibling rivalry, one of our SOS Moms, Robe Samarth Gaonkar suggested, “Of course you should intervene and never let the time pass by without them consoling each other. It’s just normal fights in the beginning, but if you don’t correct them on time, then it will be worse once they are older.”

We agree with Robe on this and feel that parents should help their kids sort the fights by making them understand the art of managing their emotions. Otherwise, the mutual ill feelings will get carried over into their adult lives and become even more crippling to deal with later on.

3 Suggestions for Parents when Managing Sibling Rivalry

  1. When you intervene, you should hold both the kids equally responsible for the fight. It shouldn’t matter as to who started it or whose fault it is. After all, it always takes two to tango; a fight is never a one-sided affair, so stop refereeing.

    Dealing with Sibling Rivalries

    Dealing with Sibling Rivalries

  1. Use the ‘step in to step out’ method. Help your kids to identify their feelings at the moment of a fight (step in) and then leave them and let them work out a solution between themselves (step out). This is because, there will be times when kids would resolve the conflict in their own way and only need us to set up the navigation just a bit.
  1. Appreciate both the kids in their individual domains. Never pitch them up against one another. If one is good in sports and the other is a bookworm, recognize and appreciate their individuality.

Follow these few simple strategies, as you work with your kids to manage sibling rivalry and pioneer a peace treaty in your home today.

How to Get my Little One to Sleep in his Own Bed

SOS _ Getting Kid to Sleep in his own Bed

SOS _ Getting Kid to Sleep in his own Bed

Getting kids, especially those who have been sleeping with parents for more than a year, to sleep in their own beds is not easy.

We can say that it’s sort of like ripping off a band-aid… The kid will cry, there’ll be tantrums and a whole lot of havoc. However, you’ve to decide whether you’ll transition quickly or will take your own sweet time.

Many parents typically opt to have their kids sleep on separate beds by the kid’s will and desire. However, this can be confining for the parents, as the kid will keep growing dependent on the parents to get a night of peaceful sleep.

The key to establishing a workable bedtime routine is to set firm expectations and then maintain consistency. Before moving ahead with the decision, you should feel strongly enough for the mission of moving the kid to his own bed. Ambivalence over your decision will not help.

To make things easier for you, our SOS Moms are giving out a few suggestions

“Make his best soft toy his best friend and sleep mate. Let him sleep with the toy and tell him that his friend (the soft toy) will be alone and cry if he doesn’t sleep with him”, recommends Swati Thakur, mom of a 1 year old.

Swati also says, “One more thing you can try is, when he’s fast asleep just put a pillow over him at your place, so that he gets a feeling that it’s you and not the pillow. Maybe that can help as it does help me and my son is only 1 year old.”

Next, we have Neha Kapur, who says, “Put your T-shirt on a pillow and place it next to him… Sometimes, it’s your smell that comforts them.”

SOS _ Getting your Child to Sleep in his own Bed

SOS _ Getting your Child to Sleep in his own Bed

We also have Ranjani Anoop and Saheti Krishna Kasam, who have tested the methods suggested by Swati Thakur. They double up with Swati to say that the pillow method really works.

One useful tip from our end – think of the things that will offer some comfort to the kid during the transition. Play a CD of soothing lullabies, light a brighter nightlight or an LED projector lamp that’ll create an effect of a starry night sky onto the walls and ceiling of his room.

So, be prepared for a bumpy ride while getting your kiddo to sleep in his own bed, but keep your eyes on the prize: an independent kid who sleeps all by himself and one less elbow in your back at night!

Baby Eats at Day Care But Not at Home, What to do: SOS MOM Reply

Baby-eats-at-day-care-but-not-at-home-what-to-doOne of the biggest problems that a mommy faces with her young kid is making him eat a sufficient amount of food every day. It’s  a considerable challenge for her to deal with her fussy eater and the problem doesn’t end with mealtimes at home. The story still continues for those mothers who send their kid to a day care. Their kid will not only be a fussy eater but may also choose to eat only at the day care and not at home. Strange but true!

Dealing with this problem is even more challenging. A few tips listed below can prove helpful  to these mommies:

  • Such a phenomenon occurs potentially because in a day care  a child is surrounded by other kids and all of them eat in a group. A group activity encourages them to finish their meals without any fuss. So one of the best ways to tackle the problem can be – ask all the members in the family to have dinner together with the kid. This will give him the same feeling as that of a day care meal time, says Deepshikha Roy.
  • “Let the baby eat on his own. He will relish it and meal time will become fun. It will be messy for sure but you can always clean it up”, says Nidhi Jain.
  • “Play some rhymes on television or laptop, or, put on his favorite cartoon program during his meal time”, says Sandhya Prasad.
  • “Go creative and present the meal in an interesting way. For instance, make chocolate monster paratha or their favourite home-made paratha pizza or fruity pancakes”, suggests Nandini Rathore.
  • “Let your kid ask for the meal on his own. Also, ensure that there is at least a gap of 4-5 hours between the two meals. If the kids is hungry, he will definitely eat a good amount of food”, says Payal Chhajer.
  • “Ask your kid to give you a bite and then you give him the next. He will enjoy this at least for some time”, says Anamika Chauhan.
  • Encourage your kid to have a competition, of finishing the food first, with you.

We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time and giving their valuable responses:

Neha Singhai, Deepshikha Roy, Nidhi Jain, Payal Chhajer, Sandhya Prasad, Radha Naveen, Anamika Chauhan, Nandini Rathore

How to Make Homework Time Interesting for Preschoolers: SOS MOMs Reply

How-to-make-homework-interesting“Sit down and complete your homework!”

Are you also tired of repeating the same dialogue every day?

If yes, then this post is definitely for you.

Parents are often found nudging their kids to complete their homework. On the contrary, kids hate to have the word ‘Homework’ in their To-Do list. In such a situation, making homework fun is no piece of cake for parents while for their kids, ‘homework’ and ‘fun’ can never go hand in hand.

However, with a few tricks and a proper approach you can make homework enjoyable, at least to a certain extent, for your child. For instance:

Make homework interesting:

  • “Draw an apple/smiley tree and put it up somewhere in the room, tell your kid that every time he does the homework he can color one apple. If he doesn’t like coloring, then you can color the apple for him.
    Buy a strip of stickers of his favorite character like Tom n Jerry or Chotta Bheem, etc. When the tree gets full of apples give him one sticker to stick on his bed or cupboard”, says Jacqueline Pereire who practiced it for a few days and has stopped now. She is now happy to see her daughter completing her homework every day without any fuss.
  • Make it an inclusive activity by sitting down with your child and pretending you’re writing/doing your ‘homework’ while he does his. Sit together in your garden or balcony with some juices or candies as if on a picnic, suggests Sheena Talwar.
  • Get him a new colorful study table or color pencils to write with, to increase his interest.
  • Make a hand puppet and allow your child to wear it only while doing the homework, create a story around it and encourage your child to do his homework with the puppet.

Develop a habit:

Make a habit of sitting with your child everyday with his school books and get him involved in them. Make him follow a routine. Consistency in routine eventually helps a child understand the importance of finishing a task on time and enables him to stay stress-free.

Building a habit cannot be accomplished overnight, hence, parents must be patient in helping their child acquire the habit, of doing homework, gradually.

Understand the reason:

It can be a plain lack of interest, or, there can even be possibilities of something bothering your child. Try to find out why exactly he refuses to write and then figure out a constructive approach to solve the issue, says Shridevi Kamath Bhat.

Practice Positive Reinforcement or Appreciation:

Appreciate your beginner for his work, handwriting or even for a single line that he writes. It plays a key role in encouraging kids to finish their homework with interest. Sarah Singh says, “having kids sit for their homework through forceful parenting will only make it a disliked chore for them”. Other parents, Yachna Jain, Shaily Bhatia and Sadhad Hassan, share the same view.

 

We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time and giving their valuable responses:

Madhumita Kar Gupta,Jacqueline Pereire, Shridevi Kamath Bhat, Minakshi SaiKaulogist, Nisha Unadkat Kotecha, Ashwini Bagare, Sheena Talwar, Deepty Mundhra, Shaily Bhatia, Yachna Jain, Sarah Singh, Poonam Ganesh, Priya Suresh, Firdos Mogal, Snehal Vinayak, 

A special mention to Sadhad Hassan, a father.

My Child Refuses To Go To Playschool: SOS Moms Reply

three little girls and female teacher in kindergartenSeema Shetty wrote to us about a concern she has for her child, her son refuses to go to play school and throws tantrums when he is in the playschool. She is worried and asked us to advice her on the same.

We asked our community of moms for their suggestions to help solve Seema’s problem and have included their advice below.

It is quite normal for some children to resist a new environment like playschool. Many of them suffer from separation anxiety when taken away from their parents. Usually this fear goes away in a few weeks, but you can help your child adjust to new environment by introducing him to it gradually.

Spend some time along with him in the playschool so that he realises it is not something to be afraid of. Allow him to become familiar with his new surroundings and the new people in his life before you leave. Once he starts to have interact with his new classmates and have fun with them, he will not mind your absence as much.

Ask the teacher to entice him with play, toys and fun activities so he knows that it is a fun place to be. Soon he will begin to look forward to his time in school and with his friends.

We are grateful to the parents below for their input.

Pooja Sandhu Choudhuri, Aditi Jagtap Deshmukh, Cristyl Murray, Insiya Makda, Insiya Makda

 

Finding The Right Books To Read With Your Child

child and mom readingReading is an extremely healthy habit that all of us should develop. Good habits have to be inculcated in a child right from his childhood so that it remains with him all throughout his lifetime. If you develop reading habits from a very young age, your child will retain the same later in life.

It is even recommended that would-be-mothers create the habit of reading good things as it impacts the child growing inside. Even while your kid is very small, try reading different things to him. You will notice that he will develop the habit of listening to things while you read out aloud to him.

Choosing books for toddlers

It is quite natural that toddlers will not be interested in books, which have only black texts in them. Rather they will find books interesting that has lots of colors, pictures and attractive items with minimal text in them.

There are interesting toddler books explaining simple actions like saying hello or bye and child learn fast when they see something and do the same. There are bedtime stories books as well which parents can read to their child and make him fall asleep. Interesting graphics and pictures in these books make them a favorite with the kid.

Books for pre-school goers

This age is a delicate one when the child is around 3 to 4 years old. At this stage children love story books as they can read some simple lines. Fairy tales are also very popular with kids. It is quite interesting to see that, on hearing different kinds of stories from the books, children create a new world of their own using their own imagination.

Reading fairy tales helps build your child’s imagination and creativity. Along with fictional books, various kinds of non-fictional books also attract kids through which they learn new things while enjoying reading. At this age, kids are also fascinated by ebooks available online. It may be worthwhile to invest in a few that they can read on your tablet or iPad.

Books for school-going kids

Along with interesting story books, kids are also interested in books that have fascinating facts about the world, books on general knowledge, poems and classic stories. Some kids are extremely fond of historical books and they create imagery in their mind about the past. The Amar Chitra Katha collection and Tinkle books are a fantastic addition to any child’s library.

It may be worthwhile investing in an online encyclopedia on CD, that often comes along with interactive features. Along with enhancing knowledge, reading books also improves the vocabulary of the child considerably.

There are only benefits to introducing your child to the world of books and as the saying goes, “Children are made readers in the laps of their parents.” So take your child in your lap today and introduce them to a world of knowledge and fantasy.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Playing With Your Kids – Games For School-Age Kids

bowlingSchool-age kids have high levels of energy and have the capacity of carrying out work and play at their respective times. As a parent you might want to participate in the various games that school-age kids play.

Since this is their stage of development and growth, you can think of games that promote these in an effective manner. Children at this age love to indulge in physical activities as that gives them immense happiness and joy.

Here are some activities that you can always enjoy with your school-age kids:

• Chain game

For this game, the more the numbers of players, the more the fun you can have. One person is chosen as the tagger and he has to run and tag another person. Now both of them join hands and chase the others.

Children who are tagged have to hold hands and form a chain and run together to chase others. It is a game of coordination as all taggers have to run in the same direction. Sometimes the chain is broken into small groups so that children don’t trip or step on other’s toes. But often the enjoyment is in the uncoordinated fun that can result.

• Treasure hunt at home

Treasure hunts are great fun for any kid. Decide on various kinds of interesting things that you can hide in various parts of the house including the garden or the lawn. Keep smart clues for the hunt so that things cannot be found that easily.

You can also arrange for a jackpot so that anyone who wins the game gets a special reward. Explore the adventurous mind of your kids through this game and see your little detectives making their way in finding the hidden items. If there are many children, create groups for the hunt.

• Bowling with bottles

If you think that your kids do not know about bowling, you are wrong. Try giving them a bowling game experience at home so that they can display their target skills. Arrange plastic bottles in various shapes and sizes in a row or in many rows.

Take small soft balls and try to knock down as many bottles as possible with them. The numbers of bottles that can be knocked down will decide the winner. The game can be divided into two groups and a competition can be started. Adults can keep a note of the time.

Playing with kids of this age can take you back through memory lane when you used to play such games with your friends and your parents grinned with joy at your happy face.

Image courtesy of cuteimage / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Playing With Your Kids – Games For Preschoolers

finger paintingIf you take a look at children in today’s generation, you will be surprised to see how smart they are. At the age of three to four, they can do things that might be attempted by a kid of say 7 to 8 years.

The IQ level of kids now is amazing. Since your child is getting smarter, it is also important for you to be upgraded. Kids always love when their parents play with them.

If your kid is a preschooler, here are some interesting games that you can try for your little champion. The games below are sure to help in the overall development of your child.

• Reading alphabets

Whether you are playing games with your kids online or offline, you can let your toddler learn alphabets and letters easily while playing games. If you go to a kids’ store, you can find colorful blocks or wooden trays of English alphabets that will make the learning process of the kid happy and interesting. Many fun online games to help them learn their alphabets are also available.

• Understanding colors

This is probably the easiest thing that the kid learns. You can take balls of different colors and spread them in the room. Now ask your kid to bring different colored balls to you. Just see how the little one runs in the room and comes to you with the colored ball. How proud would you feel when the kid selects the right colored ball!

• Identifying body parts

One of the most common questions that kids are asked during preschool interviews are to identify their body parts like eyes, ears, nose, and hands and so on. Arrange an interesting game at home and let your child learn about the important body parts. Online games are also available that helps the child in understanding his body parts.

• Knowledge on numbers

Teaching kids numbers can be real fun. Bring things that interest them like toys, chocolates and other stuff. Ask them the numbers. Numbers can be taught easily while playing. Also let them identify the numeric. So, next time they see 2 written, they know it is two.

• Songs and rhymes

Any child loves songs and rhymes. You can sing some toddler songs to them or recite rhymes. You will see how much the kid enjoys these games. Once you complete, ask your little one to repeat them. They will repeat the song or rhyme and feel immensely happy when you appreciate them for doing so. There are many videos and singalong CDs available online from where they can learn a lot of fun songs and rhymes.

• Creating art

Fun activities like finger painting, sketching with crayons and creating their own original works of art can be an amazing way to keep your little preschooler busy for hours. Just make safe all their art supplies are safe and that you supervise their efforts. Don’t forget to give them a corner of your home to showcase their artworks. That will make them so happy.

Try and make your kids play physical games as much as possible as it makes them healthy and also lets them experience their world in a real way. We hope these tips will keep you busy entertaining your preschooler for hours on end.

Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Understanding Your Baby – How Play Helps Your Baby Learn And Grow

mom and baby 4When your baby is a little older, s/he may get involved in various kinds of play and games.

This is very important as playing helps the baby grow and learn about the world around them. In fact, it gradually shapes the overall development and personality of a child.

The development of sense of colors, textures, sounds and other senses takes place in most kids through play. They are drawn towards bright colors and parents can use this platform for teaching them about those senses.

Try and cut out large and attractive shapes and hang them around in the house. Your child will love to see them flying in the wind and learn all about colors too.

Some kids are very fond of music from a very young age. They enjoy listening to various kinds of music and respond to them as well. It is like a game to them. Take this opportunity to recite nursery rhymes to your child. Try and make the rhyme sound rhythmic and musical so that the child develops interest in the words and rhythm. Also try reading to the child as this is a very good habit to inculcate.

Make eating time interesting to the child. In a small bowl put some healthy food and provide a spoon as well. Give the bowl to the child, while you feed him from a separate bowl and spoon. See how the child learns to hold the spoon by imitating you and how he learns the skill of taking food from the bowl with the spoon and attempting to eat it. Things might be very messy at first, but your kid will love the learning process.

Take the baby to the park and let them enjoy the sounds and smells of nature. Do not interfere with his movements, but keep a strict watch on what he is doing. Let him move around, play with kids of his own age and interact. This will help him in developing interactive and communication skills. Even if he falls down while playing, as long as the injuries are not serious, let him get up on his own. Let his confidence level build.

Kids learn about the world around them through interacting with objects, people and things. Games and play are some of the best ways to teach them about all these in a fun and memorable way.

Image courtesy of Jomphong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Child Is Agressive and Violent: SOS Moms Reply

agressive childNitu Singh wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her son who is almost 4 years old. She says that he is violent and aggressive at home as well as in school and has also started hitting people wherever he goes. She wants to know how she can handle this behaviour of his. She is concerned and has asked us for some advice.

We asked our community of parents online for their advice and have incorporated their feedback below.

Although it is shocking, aggression can develop even in normal kids, who may react to fearful incidents or to other people with violence. A lot of the time it happens because kids are unable to express themselves in healthier ways, such as verbally.

Most kids outgrow such behaviour as they learn to express themselves verbally. However, this does not mean it is acceptable behaviour.

First, assess whether it is something in your child’s environment that is causing the aggression. Too much exposure to violent cartoons can cause behavioural changes in kids. Limit his exposure to television and any violent games or influences.

Ensure that he is not being abused, either physically or emotionally, by a maid or a member of the household. Ensure that you and your spouse are dealing with your differences in a healthy manner. If there is any abuse or violence in the household, the child will pick it up as acceptable.

Respond quickly to any aggressive or violent behaviour. Do not wait until it gets too bad and never lose your own temper. Stop your child calmly, but firmly, and give them a brief “time-out” to cool down. Remove them from any situations where they may cause harm to themselves or others.

Be consistent in setting limits. Do not give in at any time and never allow them to get away with hitting or any other acts of violence. Ensure that there are consequences, like missing out on fun with others, or taking away their games or toys until they calm down.

Try to get your child to talk about their frustrations when they have calmed down. Make a genuine attempt to understand what they are going through. You could also keep a behaviour chart and reward good behaviour with stars and a treat at the end of the week.

Make sure your child is expending his energy in a healthy way. Let him take up a sport, perhaps something that you can be part of, so that he vents in a healthy manner. Spending more quality time with your child may also help.

If all your efforts fail, take your child to a child psychologist for an evaluation.

Our thanks go out to all these helpful parents:

Puneet Wadhwani, Nivedita Poddar, Misha Bhattal, Pooja Ahuja, Vyona Lobo Ribeiro, Pooja W. Mazumder, Bharath Reddy, Madhusmita Mishra, Misha Bhattal, Aman Tiwari

Image courtesy of Photokanok / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Toy Safety: How To Choose Safe Toys For Your Kids

baby with toyKids and toys seem to be inseparable from one another. If you enter a kid’s room, you will find all kinds of toys here and there. It is sheer joy to note the happiness on your kid’s face when you bring a new toy for them.

However, it is also important to note that if the right kinds of toys are not chosen, they might cause injuries to the child. In some unfortunate events, toys have also caused death in children.

Here are some safety rules that you must follow while purchasing toys for your little one:

  • Purchase toys that are made of natural and non-toxic materials. This is highly applicable for kids who are 1 year old or younger. At this age, children have the tendency of touching everything and then putting it directly in their mouth.
  • Buy toys according to age recommendations. This will help you in buying the toy that will be suitable for your kid’s age and his skill level.
  • For very young kids, choose to buy toys that are large in size. This is so that, in case they put the toy in their mouth, there are no chances of getting choked by the same. Good toy shops have testers that help test if the toy is safe for the child.
  • Do not give small kids things like coins, marbles, small balls and other small objects as these can be swallowed easily and can cause immediate choking. These might get stuck in the windpipe leading to difficulty in breathing and might cause death if right action is not taken at proper time.
  • Before handing over the toy to the child, check the same minutely for sharp edges or small loose parts. The child might get hurt from the sharp edges. Also if parts of toys like eyes, buttons, wheels etc are loose tighten them first. See that there are no loose ends on the toy.
  • If toys are battery operated ones, see that the case of the battery is closed tightly with screws. Do not give battery operated toys to small children. Children have a tendency of opening the case and taking out the battery. Sometimes there might be leakage from the battery and opening the case might cause serious problems.
  • It is also recommended that you avoid toys that have cords and strings attached to them as they might cause strangling.

So, next time before buying a toy for your little one, keep these simple things in mind for their safety and help your child enjoy their time playing with their toys.

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How To Buy Your Child’s First Bicycle

341054aWondering how to choose your child’s first bicycle? Read on for all the information that you require to choose the right bike for your little rider.

After you are sure that your little one is ready to ride their own bicycle, consider investing in one. Controlling and balancing the bike will take some practice but it’s a learned skill and most kids pick it up quickly.

With so many different options available in the market, the local bike shop is the perfect place to choose your child’s first bicycle. However you can also make your final purchase online once you have explored the options below.

An expert sales representatives will be able to help you select the right bicycle size and type for your child’s needs. He or she will also ensure all brakes and gears are set up properly.

Size and Weight Matters:

The size of the bicycle is the most important consideration to take care of when buying your child’s first bicycle. This is especially important if the child is still learning to ride or not very confident.

A confident rider should be able to touch the ground with their feet and maneuver the handlebars while seated on the bike seat.

The best way to check if the size of the bicycle is right, is to make your child sit on it and check if the child’s legs can reach the ground without straining or stretching.

The child should be able to reach out for the brakes while seated. It is also a good idea to consider bikes that are fitted with front and back brakes. Moreover, the child should be able to hold the handlebars without lifting their bottom from the seat.

Finally, ensure that child can place one foot on the ground while both hands are placed on the handlebar. If the position is comfortable, then the bicycle size is correct.

If the bike feels heavy to you, imagine how heavy it would be for the child to handle. Most first time bikers find it difficult to support the bike’s weight before they set off. Lighter bicycles might be more expensive, but they are probably well worth it.

Your child might also have their own preference in terms of choosing between a Barbie Super Girls Bicycle or an Avon Joysun Bicycle.

Training Wheels: If your child is not comfortable riding a two-wheeler, you may consider investing in a pair of training wheels to help them get started on.

How to Develop Your Child’s Self-Esteem

confident childSelf-esteem is how people feel about themselves. A healthy self-esteem is like a child’s shield against the many challenges of the world.

Kids who are aware of their strengths and weakness are more positive, feel confident, find it easier to handle pressures, and are more optimistic.

On the other hand, children with low self-esteem find it challenging and are relatively more anxious and frustrated than others.

A child’s self-esteem affects their day-to-day activities and affects their relationships with others.

A positive self-esteem helps the child to believe in their own values, make right decisions under pressure, confidently interact with others, handle stress and challenges and make healthier choices.

Read on for some tips to help foster your child’s self-esteem.

Love and Acceptance: Love your child to the utmost and spend lots of quality time. A child benefits the most when you are able to accept him regardless of their strengths, weaknesses and abilities. Give him or her plenty of kisses, hugs, cuddles, pats and affection.

Focus on the Child: By listening to them and playing with them. Show interest in things, games and activities that they enjoy and let them guide play. This makes them feel important and valuable.

Consistency: Decide and enforce clear rules that must be followed by the child at each stage of life. Tell him what you expect and what punishment would be given if the rules were not followed. This helps them to feel safe and secure and grow more confident in making own decisions.

Support Change: Encourage the child to try something new, like make a new friend or try a new food. There is always possibility of risk, but the chances for success are also equally same if not high. Try letting them explore and experiment to build their self-esteem by finding the right balance between the need to protect him or her with the want to embark upon new tasks.

Problem-Solve: Offer various chances to solve problems so that the child understands he or she has control over his or her own life. Help the child correct the mistakes and talk about how it can be done differently the next time.

Offer Empathy and Encouragement: If your child feels frustrated because he cannot do things like his peers, empathize and then emphasize on of his or her other strengths. This will help them learn their own personal strengths and weaknesses. Young ones also require ample amounts of encouragement from their parents and loved ones to feel good about themselves.

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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