Category Archives: Teaching Your Kid

Why you should never pay your child for chores!

When your kids become old enough (and responsible enough) for an allowance, a parent is faced with two choices – should the allowance be handed over unconditionally or should the kids perform some chores in return.

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Akriti came to us with this query. Should she pay her children to help our with chores at home? Will this help them learn the value of money?

Our star contributer Noopur Agarwal advises, “While it’s important to teach children the value of money, it is not right to pay them for doing small things. If you will start paying them for every chore, they will loose their innocence and will become money minded like us grownups!”

This is a line of thought that is generally agreed upon by most parents – and even some financial experts! Finance gurus say that if the kids learn that by working they get paid, on the flip side they will also learn that they can refuse to work on the grounds that they don’t want money! What’s more if they save their “earnings”, they may even realise that they have enough of their allowance to last them for a few days – and hence flat out refuse to do chores!

On the whole there are three major reasons why you should never pay your kids for their chores:

1. It sends the wrong message!
If kids are being paid to complete chores, they will no longer feel the need to do any chores “for free”. What’s more, they will learn to demand payment for any small favour or request. It takes away from the sense of achievement and moral obligation of caring for the home and doing what’s best for the whole family.

2. It could lead to a sense of entitlement!
When a child is paid for her work, she no longer thinks of his family as a cohesive unit – she will start thinking of herself first! Your goal is to foster an environment of family teamwork and not “every man for himself”.

3. They will ask for a raise!
Don’t you start resenting your boss when he doesn’t give you a raise despite how much work he sees you putting in day in and day out? Well now, is that a situation you want happening with your kids? Just imagine: “Mommy, I did more dishes this week than last week – so I deserve more money!” Now isn’t that a situation you want to avoid?

We hope our Mommy advice has helped Akriti find a solution. There are many other ways to present your kids with an allowance, and payment in return for services is not always the right decision!

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We thank the SOS mom who came to Anamika’s rescue: Noopur Agarwal.

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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.

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!

How do I deal with my Clingy Toddler

How to Deal with a Clingy Toddler

How to Deal with a Clingy Toddler

By the age of two, children become independent enough to be walking on their own. As they develop this skill, is also when they regress and suddenly become clingy. They just want to be carried everywhere and throw tantrums when denied. It is at this point that the kid is torn between his independent impulses and the very compelling desire to be attached to the parent.

This is a difficult phase for the parents as well, because every sentence that the kid speaks begins with ‘mom’ or ‘dad’. Every waking moment of theirs is spent carrying the clingy toddler until their biceps burn. To make things worse, in some cases, the other parent is not even allowed to help.

Research suggests that periodic clinginess is normal, and it’s a sign that you and your child have a healthy relationship. However, the kid’s waffling between the two extremes of independence and dependence is very taxing for both, the kid, and the parents. They are befuddled if they should give the kid a pat on the back and tell him to man up, or if they should simply accept the whole scenario as it is.

Again, we bring to you our SOS Moms whose suggestions are based on experience

At the outset, we have Shabnam Desai, who suggests, “If you are a working mother, maybe the baby is missing you too much. Try to spend more time with your little one. Maybe the baby is afraid about something. Look around for signs if something is going wrong when certain people are coming near the baby, and not only people also check out the toys. Some kids are not comfortable with certain toys, especially soft toys because of the fur. Try to comfort the baby and please keep your cool or matters can get worse. Check whether the baby is teething or any other ailments and consult the doctor”.

Next, Rajni Kashvi Jaiswal adds, “Because maybe now herecognises you as his parents, he has become clingy suddenly.”

Dealing with Clingy Behaviour in Kids

Dealing with Clingy Behaviour in Kids

Mums, Jyot Kaur, Neha Singh, Shruti Singhal Garg and Sneha Agrawal collectively assert that teething may be the reason the kid has suddenly turned clingy. They suggest the use of ‘Calcarea Phosphorica’ as a solution for teething problem in toddlers. However, this needs to be done only after consulting a paediatric doctor.

Lastly, Chetana Suvarna Ganatra blames the kid’s clingy behaviour to separation anxiety he may be going through.

A tip from our end; try to make walking fun for him and don’t scold the kid. Remember, the kid has shorter legs, so he/she will take more time to cross the same distance. Also, keep the outings on foot brief and have a stroller ready as a backup plan.

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.

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 Won’t Let Me Brush His Teeth: SOS Moms Reply

child toothbrushSwati Iyer wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her 1 year old son who refuses to let her clean his teeth. She is worried that her child will start getting cavities and wants advice on how to teach him to follow good dental hygiene.

We asked our community of mothers to weigh in on this issue and have included their responses below.

At this age a child may have only a few teeth and may not be ready for brushing his teeth. It takes about three years for the complete set of teeth to come in. However, you can introduce the concept of dental hygiene with gentle rubbing on his teeth using a clean finger and a soft cotton cloth.

You may think that because these baby teeth are destined to fall out anyway, they don’t matter. But that’s not true because they act as guides for our permanent teeth which may not come in properly if the baby teeth are lost due to cavities and decay.

Dental hygiene is an important concept to teach our kids because a large number of children have cavities by the time they are in kindergarten. This is primarily due to diets that include too many sweets and poor dental hygiene.

Some kids may be defiant about not allowing you to clean their teeth. You can get a soft Baby Training Toothbrush that is fun for your baby to use. Also allow your baby to see you and your spouse brushing your teeth so that they want to imitate you.

You can read your child some children’s books that discuss the importance of keeping one’s teeth clean. Show them some funny videos, like the one about the adventures of Dr. Rabbit and the Tooth Defenders from Colgate. You can also devise some fun activities or games to play while brushing so your kids learn to associate it with fun. Never mind if it gets a little messy at times.

Each child will have their own time table of when they will learn to use a brush or allow you to clean their teeth. Be patient with your child and be consistent in teaching them to keep their teeth clean. Don’t use toothpaste until your child is old enough to rinse and spit it out.

Our thanks go out to the parents below for their advice and suggestions.

Janki Shah, Lipsa Das, InderpreetKaur, AditiJagtapDeshmukh, ShilpaKhandelwal, Rosalin Mishra, ViditaTayal

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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

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

My Toddler Refuses To Drink From a Cup: SOS Moms Reply

child drinking2Srujana Naresh wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her 1 year 9 months son. She says that she still bottle feeds him because he refuses to drink from a cup.

She wants to know how she can make him have his milk from a cup. She is concerned and has asked us for some advice.

We posted the question to our ever-helpful community of parents and have included their advice below.

It is not unusual for kids to resist new things. You might want to try a transition from a bottle to a Sipper cup, instead of a normal cup. A sippy cup with a straw might be easier to drink out of.

Get your child an attractive sippy cup with a cartoon they like. You could try adding sugar or jaggery in the drink to tempt them. You could also try distracting him with television or stories or songs.

Put him in a group with other kids who drink from cups. Also encourage other family members to drink from cups in front of him. He is more likely to try to imitate them and want to drink from a cup.

The main issue is not to get stressed about it. Every child is different and transitions to a new behaviour in their own time. It might take time and patience on your part, but your child will ultimately start drinking from a cup when he is ready to do so.

Thanks to all these moms for their helpful advice:

Poonam Botadra Mehta, Roopa Mahesh, Revathi Phani Krishna, HS Meshaha Clair, Angel Aman, Shirin Mandviwala, Sunitha Raj, Bhuvaneshwari Suryanarayanan, Richa Agrawal, Priyanka Dhadve Gosavi, Chital Panchal, Bhuvaneshwari Suryanarayanan, Janki Shah, Hema Bhat, Nandini Mangla, Zahin Shaikh

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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

Moving Home: Help Your Child Cope With The Change

kid in a boxOne of the most important skills you can help your child develop is the ability to deal with change.

There are changes every day in a child’s life, such as adjusting to new teachers and friends, birth of a sibling, change of home or a divorce in the family.

On the other hand, few children have the excitement of moving to a new home and having a new neighborhood to explore.

When you are moving to a new home, there are lots of things you can do to help your child develop the skills to handle the change just by understanding their needs and offering encouragement.

Preparing Your Child

Prepare your child about the changes that are going to take place. Talk about what will happen and what the change will mean for them. For example, while moving to a new home, talk about how much fun it will be and what they should expect.

Involving Your Child

It is important to make this new change as smooth and easy as possible for your child. Get your child involved in whatever decisions you take about the change. For example, let your child choose colors for their new bedroom and let them arrange their things when you move in.

Be creative and encourage your child to decorate the room with pleasing and fun things. Generally, children have no control over the major changes in their lives, but by involving them in such decisions, you help them feel more in control.

Gradually Facing Fears

To a young child, the world is filled with things that are difficult to understand. They generally rely on familiar things to make sense of everything else. After a move they may become fearful and clingy and regress into certain childhood behaviours.

Let them carry around objects which they are attached to. Allow them to stick to daily rituals like regular mealtimes, reading stories before bed and watching TV programs. This will help calm your child and help them adjust to the change.

You must, however, be prepared as many kids don’t adapt quickly and there might be tears and tantrums when forced to accept a new environment. All children adjust to changes at different rate, so you need to be patient, and help them build valuable life skills along the way.

Finally, always remember, your child will be positive only if you are confident about an upcoming change. Do share your stories of helping your child adjust to major life changes, in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Is Your Child A Biter? How To Get Them To Stop

child biterDo you have a biter on your hands? This is among the most embarrassing of kid behaviors for many parents.

We learn that infants often bite to relieve their teething or gum soreness, while pre-schooling kids generally bite because they haven’t developed good coping skills to deal with stress appropriately and to express their needs.

Whatever the reason is, we know that this behavior is inappropriate and very upsetting (especially for the person getting bitten).

As a parent, your job is to get rid of this annoying behavior before it becomes a habit. Here are few steps which you can use to get your child to stop biting others.

Be Calm But Firm

Speak to your child with a firm, “no biting” stance. Make sure you keep it easy and simple for your child to understand. Make it clear that biting is wrong, but also avoid lengthy explanations until your child is old enough to understand them. Lastly, stay as calm as possible to help resolve the situation more quickly.

Teach Appropriate Expressions

Teach your child to express themselves to you in more appropriate ways. When things calm down, help your child find a less painful way to express their feelings to you.

This generally works well with children who are biting to show affection to their parents. So, if your child wants to express love to you, teach them to hug instead, and not bite when they feel such strong emotions.

Distraction Works

If your child has started biting, distract them with a toy or a book. For example, ask them to look out of the window or take them for a short walk outside. This would help reduce tension and shift the child’s attention from biting to other activities.

Substitute People with Objects

Give your child a substitute. When you sense your child is about to bite, give them a teether or toy to draw their attention away from the biting.

As kids grow older, they tend to learn how to express themselves in words and learn to control impulsive behaviour. If you are consistent with your control, chances are even the most determined biter would stop biting.

Just in case, your child does not stop biting, don’t rush to a therapist who might recommend different treatments. Sometimes, it just takes time, support and appropriate training from friends and family. Only, after a certain age should you consider taking medical help.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Learning Disorders: How To Spot Them

hearing disorderLearning disorders in children are not a problem with motivation or intelligence, or kids being lazy or dumb. In fact, most of these kids are as smart as their peers. However, it’s just that their brains work in a very different manner from the rest.

Often children being taught a second language show symptoms of a learning disorder as they get confused between the language of communication.

Thus, before any remedial steps are really taken, an assessment should be made to see whether the child is fluent in a particular language and a second language learner.

Here are some common symptoms that can help you figure out if your child has any kind of learning disorder.

Impulsiveness In The Classroom

In some cases, children might get impulsive at situations and tend to shout repetitively. For example, when asked to raise hands before speaking, they tend to get impulsive and shout rather than following discipline.

Additional symptoms include throwing books off tables or other stationary when they don’t want to complete a particular task. Such behavior is more indicative of a learning disorder rather than behavioral problems.

Difficulty Learning Numbers

Reading, doing math and writing letters might be tough for your child at first. But when those early troubles don’t fade away after a certain age and repetitive trying, it may be possible that your child has a learning disorder.

Some kids may have particularly language disorders, meaning they have trouble understanding language and understanding what they read.

Auditory Processing Disorder

If your child has a problem with distinguishing sounds from background noise and following spoken directions, or may find it difficult to remember things they have heard or have a problem in telling the difference between similar-sounding words, it may be a symptom of an auditory processing disorder.

Disruptiveness

As children begin doing print based work in kindergarten and have trouble focusing or paying attention to what is being taught to them, they tend to get distracted and avoid tasks.

Moreover, some also become aggressive and tend to behave as if they just don’t want to follow instructions. Distraction is a major symptom of a learning disorder.

Visual Disorders

If your child has trouble interpreting visual information, he or she will not be able to read or tell the difference between two things that look similar. These children usually have trouble with hand-eye co-ordination, which explains their visual processing disorder.

In simple words, children with learning disorders can see, hear and understand things in a different way as compared to their peers. These disorders are very difficult to diagnose because there is no definitive list of symptoms that fits every child. To add to the difficulty, many children also try to hide these problems, making it very difficult to diagnose.

However, if you sense a learning disorder in your child, it is important to take proactive measures about your child’s learning difficulties. The quicker you are able to diagnose, the sooner you would be able to deal with the child’s problems.

 Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Teaching Your Child To Get Organized

school kidWhen your child is grown up enough to start cleaning their own room and begin attending school, it’s time for them to learn some organizational skills which would help them in succeeding at school and in their career later in life.

It is true that a few kids are naturally organized; but for many organization is a skill which requires learning over time. Most importantly you will be the perfect person to teach your child these skills. Here are some tips to help your child get more organized.

Use Checklists

Help your child inculcate the habit of keeping a to-do list. With the help of checklists, they can post assignments, reminders and make a list of materials that need to be brought to class. Your child can also keep a small notebook which would be dedicated to listing homework assignments and other important tasks.

Planning For Each Task

Encourage your child to get organized by thinking ahead and planning their homework around other extracurricular activities. Time planning tools such as lists can help children keep schedules and help prevent them over estimate what they can get done. A weekly planner or diary will definitely help older students to get organized.

Finishing Up

Finishing up means getting the work done, checking the work and putting on finishing touches. For example, remembering to put a homework paper in the right folder and putting the folder inside the backpack, so it is well-organized for the next day.

Reserve Space

Try to reserve a shelf or a cabinet for your child by the front door for all the items they need to take to school every day. Label them with color stickers so that the wallet, bus passes and glasses can easily be found. Also you could hang a hook underneath them for their backpack and sports bag.

Time Management Skills

Teach your child time management skills. Your child should know how to complete a particular task within a specific time frame, which would help them to learn how to develop organized methods for completing those tasks.

Remind them when their tasks need to be completed or when their appointments must be met. For example, tell them that they must finish cleaning their room within 15 minutes or until dinner gets ready.

Lastly, reward and support children when they complete organizations tasks properly. Your child might find organizing a challenge, so help them develop their routine and give them a treat for a job well done.

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Son Is 19 Months Old And Doesn’t Speak:SOS Moms Reply

baby speechSingh Shahab has asked for advice about his son who is 19 months old. The little one speaks in gibberish and Singh is concerned about whether to start speech training for him.

We asked our ever-helpful community of mothers for advice and this is what they suggested.

Every child’s growth is different. Some kids take a year and some may take 3 years to speak clearly. As long as he understands what you say and responds, it’s not a problem. Enjoy this period of speaking gibberish. Some kids take their own time.

Wait till he is 3 years old and consult a doctor before starting speech training. Parents should speak clearly with babies to help them learn how to form small words. You can give him some playcards with pictures and alphabets and ask him to repeat them after you.

Thanks to all these helpful moms:

Lavanya Reddy, Sonal Chaurasia, Vidushi Kamal, Smriti Thukral, Roop S Dhamrait, Vidushi Kamal, Deepa Jha, Deepti Dora Rao, Sonam Nigam, Priya Varun Tayur, Preety Anup Dimri, Sumrrita Saroch, Vetcha Janaki, Roma Agarwal, Shweta Hedau Bhanarkar, Manisha Vij, Shweta Koul, Deep Brinderjeet Saini.

Image courtesy of Ohmmy3d / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My 3-Year Old Refuses to be Potty-Trained: SOS Moms Reply

child potty trainingThis week Pooja Chopda Bardia approached us for advice about potty training her 3 year old son.

While the little one uses the bathroom to urinate he refuses to use it to go potty and instead defecates on the floor. Pooja is worried about this unhygienic habit and has asked for your advice.

We asked our community of Moms for advice and these are the suggestions they gave us.

Try to get an idea of the timings when your child needs to go on the potty. Then give them a glass of lukewarm milk 15 to 20 minutes before.

Get your child an attractive and comfortable potty seat. When you put them on the potty or toilet, take their favourite toys along and keep them occupied by telling them their favourite stories, perhaps of their favourite cartoon character going on the potty. 🙂

You could also read them some books on potty-training to get them interested. You can even let them sit on it in front of the TV initially.

Get them used to sitting on the potty every time they need to go, or you could even put them on it every hour. Let them sit on it until they are done, and repeat this routine for a week.

If you feel that it might be tough to get them to go on the big toilet once they get used to this, it might be a good idea to get them used to the toilet – with an add-on baby seat – from the start.

Try explaining to your child that if he goes potty on the floor, then he can’t eat or play there as it will be dirty. Kids do understand if you explain it to them calmly.

Many kids learn by watching older kids do it as they love to imitate their older siblings or cousins. You could also show them YouTube videos of kids going on the potty. You could also put his favourite toy or teddy on the potty first, and then ask the child if they would like to try it.

If all else fails, try looking for a potty-training class and enrol your child in one. You could even conduct a class in your home with the neighbour’s kids. Your child will most likely learn by watching them.

The earlier you start training your child, the better. It will take time and patience, but it’s worth it in the end.

Thanks to all these great moms for their advice.

Chetana Jahagirdar, Papiya Dawn, Narinder Kaur Hanspal, Minal Sampat Ashar, Salman Hasan, Lavanya Reddy, Narinder Kaur Hanspal, Payal Jain, Preet Kaur, Jayshree Banerjee, Manisha Birla Maheshwari, Kiran Sopori Bhan, Sherina Lask, Mukteshwari Pawar, Jas Saini, Sapna Ahuja, Deepa Karthick, Simran Chhatwal, Paulraj Marichamy, Smita Khatri Kapoor, Sudeshna Patnaik, Monika D Chowdhry, Raminder Kaur, Nishu Imran, Suji Arun, Rashmi Kabibar Padhan, Bindu Satish, Aanand Jasuja.

10 Steps To Eco-Conscious Parenting

eco friendly buttonFrom the moment babies are born they start creating carbon footprints. Starting from disposable diapers, car seats, baby wipes swings, strollers, exersaucers and all other sorts of equipment which eventually end up in the landfills.

And this pace of consumption keeps increasing, from buying tricycles and wagons to computers along with video games.

So it’s the responsibility of parents to take care of minimizing consumption and making sure you’re following the principles of eco-conscious parenting that include reduction of waste as the tips below recommend.

• Minimize damage from diapers

There have been lots of debates with regards to the use of disposable diapers versus cloth diapers. Definitely, each of them has their own benefits and for the large part, disposable diapers go into landfills.

In case you are not confident with the use of, cloth diapers disposables could be the best option. But it would help to reduce your baby’s carbon footprint if you used cloth diapers at home and disposables while travelling. You could also start potty training your child as early as possible to reduce the use of diapers altogether.

• Reduce laundry load

Although it’s common for kids to get their clothes dirty all the time, as a parent, you could limit the number of times you change their clothes to once or twice a day. That way you will minimize the amount of washing and save water and detergent.

• Reuse and recycle

The old tradition of hand-me-downs has its wisdom and also its benefits to the environment. Your new baby could use the clothes, toys and other stuff that their elder siblings have used. In India this is usually the practice as many clothes are unisex and can be work by either girls or boys.

If you don’t have any more kids to pass down the things your child has discarded, it would be a good idea to donate them to a charity that benefits deprived kids.

• Kids clothing swap

You could invite your friends who have kids of the same ages to swap clothes so that they do not have to purchase outfits that are worn for parties or other special occasions.

• Introduce your kids to nature

Introduce your kids to the wonders of nature by taking them on eco-friendly camping trips, wildlife safaris, hikes and treks. Share your love of the outdoors with them and show them how you can spend time in the wilderness without creating waste and consuming too many resources.

Be a good role model by reducing waste and lowering your own consumption of precious natural resources. Use energy-efficient vehicles, avoid using plastic bags, adopt solar power for heating water at home, and let your kids see you switching off lights and fans when they are not in use.

Practicing eco-friendly parenting means you are doing your bit to ensure that your child’s world is cleaner, greener and safer for them to grow up in. Do you have any more suggestions for eco-friendly parenting? Let us know in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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