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.”
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.
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:
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.
For about the first two or three months, a newborn’s eyes tend to drift, wander and appear squint. This squint in newborn happens when the baby is tired or is trying to focus on something very close. However, by four months, babies develop a more-mature eye-hand coordination and depth perception. Thus, the off-kilter gaze, that’s the cause of botheration for many new-parents, is put an end to.
Doctors are of the opinion that newborn squint of eye is a perfectly normal and common newborn characteristic. Most of the times than not, eyes of a newborn are not crossed, but appear to be crossed. This evasive condition happens because some babies are born with extra folds of skin along the inner corners of their eyes, which gives them the cross-eyed appearance.
Besides, there is a phenomenon known as ‘pseudoesotropia’, in which the baby looks cross-eyed because of the optical illusion caused by their flat nasal bridge. Have a look at your nose and compare it with that of your baby – you’ll find yours to be bigger and more defined. You may ask, why is the nasal bridge of a baby flat? To make breastfeeding easier!
As always, we have SOS Moms helping you out with their share of experience.
At the outset, we have Parul Sharma Khatri, who says, “All kids are born that way. Usually, baby eye squint gets resolved within 2 months completely when the eye muscles develop.”
Next, we have Anisha Rodrigues E Pinto, proposing her take, “Hi, at first even I thought the same for my baby. Then, later I read many books and I came to know that it passes off with time. To be out of tension, just get her eyes checked at your next visit to the doctor. Well, you have to be worried only if even by 3 or 4 months your baby does not move her eyes at a moving object kept in front of her face. For a newborn, please relax no need to worry, it will pass off with time.”
Third, Chetana Suvarna Ganatra suggests, “It is very common in newborns to squint. I noticed that at times when my baby kept staring at something particular, her eyes would squint. I simply used to gently shut her eyes for a minute to shift attention. Hope this helps! However, I would also recommend you see a paediatric if it happens regularly.”
Rajnideep Sandhu has a unique way of dealing with squint of eye in newborn. She says, “It happens. You just have to keep one thing in mind that don’t let your baby see straight. Let the baby see more sideways and blink again and again or change the direction for another view. Good luck!”
So to say, don’t worry too much about your newborn’s squint eyes. Remember, most of the time this condition will straighten out by maximum six months of age without treatment. Here’s to your baby’s beautiful baby blues!
Lastly, we extend our thanks to the below mentioned SOS Moms as well for helping Mahek overcome her distress.
Shweta Srivastava, Vinu Gowtham Rao, Shipra Chaubey, Reema Monga Verma, Shilpi Saha, Paulami Shome Roy, Surbhi Sharma, Neetu Vishal Sharda, Robe Samarth Gaonkar, S Hashim Ali Khan, Rajni Kashvi Jaiswal, Asma Kapoor, Pooja Mishra, Grace Dcruz, Shraddha Upadhyay Desai, Naga Deepthi Vedagiri, Vidya Patel, Kamal Mahi, Madhusmita Mishra, Kiran Bobade Chatur, Ramya Shree, Vibha Sharrma, Vividha Aggarwal, Wenencia Savio Fernandes, Ritu Bhargava Sud
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.
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.
‘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.”
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!
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.”
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.
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.”
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!
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Pooja Rai wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her 15 months old son. She says that her son does not sleep the whole night. She has tried everything but there is no change in this habit. She is concerned and has asked us for some advice.
We asked our community of mothers for their suggestions and have incorporated their answers below.
Setting a bedtime routine may be the best way to get your child to go to bed without a fuss. Ensure that your child is active and playful all day and don’t let him sleep for too long in the daytime, so that he is tired and ready for bed at night.
Remove any distractions like television and bright lights from his environment just before you start his bedtime routine.
You can set a bedtime routine that includes a soothing massage and warm bath at night. A good dinner and a glass of lukewarm milk should help to get him sleepy. Sing lullabies or play soothing music just before bedtime to let him know that it is time to wind down. You can also read him a story once he gets into bed. Then switch off the lights and tell him that he needs to sleep now.
Ensure that everyone else in the house knows his bedtime routine and cooperates with you in maintaining it. Once he gets to know what is expected of him, he will be able to keep to this routine more effectively.
We thank the mothers below for their useful suggestions:
Revathi Phani Krishna, Sakshi Abbey Bhatnagar, Swati Shukla Mishra, Manali Langer, Surabhi Verma, Ramya Venkat, Shilpi Gupta, Shubha Murthy, Garima Grover, Pooja Rai, Mithu Ganguly, Sapna Chauhan, Dolly Omkar Jha, Joyce D’cunha De Souza, Keeya Chaudhuri, Sudeshna Patnaik, Akanksha Singh, Komal Vijayan, Deep Brinderjeet Saini, Shweta Dua, Akshaya Sampathkumar, Priya Candida, Sridevi Roshan, Dipali Phopse, Shiwangi Bist Joshi, Shiwangi Bist Joshi.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Nitu 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
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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
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Rashmi Kabibar Padhan wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her 2 years old son. She says that her son behaves nicely at home and gets along with everyone but once she takes him outside he behaves exactly the opposite.
If anyone tries to take him on the lap he starts crying. She is worried for her son and has asked us for some advice. We asked our community of mothers for their advice and have incorporated their input below.
Firstly, it’s important to know that it is perfectly normal for most babies to show a fear of strangers or of unfamiliar people around the age of 7 to 9 months. Most babies also go through a phase of separation anxiety, when they are afraid of being apart from their parents.
Experts believe this is because babies are better able to remember and recognise familiar faces and places around this age. This is nothing to worry about, other than it can be embarrassing when introducing your baby to new people and family members.
This phase will pass by the time your child is older, but being present when introducing your child to new people may help them adjust better to new situations. Encourage your family members to come over more often so they become familiar to the baby.
Greet new people in a warm and friendly voice, so your child learns not to be afraid of them. Let them approach your child slowly and gently. Also do not encourage others to touch or pick up your baby as this may provoke fearful reactions.
Thanks to the parents below for their contributions.
Jyothi Dorai, Lavanya Reddy, Madhulika Verma, Anwesha Sukul, Pushpa Panwar, Narendra Bansal
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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.
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Parents end up spending a huge sum of money on preparations and once the baby arrives, a great deal of attention is spent on meeting the new baby’s basic needs.
Unfortunately, all this can become really taxing for the first child. It is very important to communicate with the elder sibling and let them known their importance.
Parents can prepare their first child for an addition to the family by appropriately discussing it. It is important to be patient and to also answer all their curious queries.
For example, a 4-year-old child may point at your belly and ask you what is there in side or is this where babies come from? Such questions may be difficult to answer, but you can try explaining it at your child’s level of comprehension.
In order to prepare your first child for their new sibling, read on for some tips that maybe helpful:
Have your child experience the child kicking and have them touch and hold the baby if they want to, but don’t force them, only let them do it if they like and want to.
Go through the child’s own baby photos with and tell them how excited you were when they were born. This will be fun for them and help them understand and learn what a newborn looks like.
Make your child understand that they will have a new member joining the family who would be sharing everything with them, including the parents time. It is important to make them feel equally important and loved.
Handle all disruptive behavior firmly and fairly. It is usual for siblings to behave crankily as they feel displaced by the younger sibling. This is primarily because the parents tend to spend more time with the newborn to satisfy his or her needs.
Most children feel uneasy when they see mothers focusing on the birth of a new family member. All that you really can do at this time is provide lots of love and support so that they regain their confidence.
Tell the child, that they will now be an elder brother or sister and must set an example for the younger one. This will make the child feel more confident about their position.
Finally, at this crucial point of your life, do not make big changes like changing your job or shifting to a new house, as these will pose additional pressure on your already-stressed child. Try maintaining the same routine that you had been for the last few months.
So what was your experience introducing your first child to a new baby? Do share in the comments below.
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The couple has three kids – a 15 year old boy, Aryan, a 13 year old girl Suhana and a one year old boy, AbRam, born through a surrogate.
Their marriage was incidentally inspired by his film, ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ of the 1990’s. Shah Rukh himself believes that he is a better father than an actor. This celeb couple balances each other out when it comes to parenting. In the words of Gauri, she is Shahrukh’s alter ego.
The couple isn’t stringent about what their kids are going to become. However, it is said that Aryan likes to play football while his sister, Suhana, is into writing. He wants the best education for both and this is also the reason that he sent Aryan to the United Kingdom.
Both believe that education should be the primary focus of every parent and they intend to offer their kids the best. Shahrukh says that he doesn’t have many friends and it is the kids that are his closest allies – his best friends.
Both parents try to share all their moments with the kids. This father of three learnt to do this from his own father who used to call him ‘Yaara’, meaning friends and they shared a good rapport. He wants to continue this tradition, as he believes that there couldn’t be a better way of being brought up and being a closely bonded family.
While the couple wants to spend the maximum time with their kids, they are also sometimes disappointed in not being able to do enough. The kids too understand and are grown up enough to know the right thing to do.
Shahrukh and Gauri feel that both their kids are well mannered, courteous and sorted. Shahrukh is however more protective of Suhana, but also believes that she has grown mature enough to handle all situations. The star couple wants the children to grow up independent and make their own decisions.
While there is still time to say whether they would be able to continue the Khan legacy of becoming actors, Aryan is certainly on the right track. He is tall, handsome and, just like his dad, is popular among peers. Many look up to the way these kids are being brought up and the family has often been in the news for the best of reasons.
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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.
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However, in addition to the rewards associated with it there are many challenges and hurdles that need to be overcome.
While you, as parents, are likely to approach remarriage and a new blended family with great joy and expectation, your kids may not be nearly as excited.
They probably feel uncertain about the upcoming changes and how that will affect relationships with their natural parents and also worry about living with new step-siblings whom they don’t even know.
To give yourself the best chance of success, here is how to make things easier as you adapt to your new role.
The most important role of a step-parent is to start slow. You are not aware of how things are going to work out for you in the future. Secondly, you could also create a suffocating environment by trying to be the dream step-parent, but actually coming across as fake to the child.
Ensure you take your time to adjust and give enough time to your step-children too. Over time, you will be able to develop a strong relationship with them. Of course, you must be prepared for the probability that it will not be the same as with their birth parents.
Limit Your Expectations
You might invest in a lot of time, energy and affection in your new partner’s kids, the rewards of which are not returned to you immediately. The key is not to expect things to happen quickly.
Introducing gradual changes in day-to-day living can help ease the new family chaos and make the transition for children much easier. Think of it as making small investments that may one day give you a greater reward.
Don’t ‘Buy’ Your Step-Children
“I’ll buy you whatever you want, even if you don’t like me.” Don’t take this attitude with your step-children. The more you act like this, the more you will increase the risks of ruining your relationship with them. Be yourself, and if you want to give them something, offer it as a gift or a surprise. But don’t go over the top!
The more time you spend with your step-children, the easier it will be to get to know and appreciate each other. No matter what the circumstances are, there are chances that there will be some bumps along the way.
Keep reminding yourself that every step-parent’s experience is going to be different. For some it’s stressful, and for other’s it is an easy transition to develop. What is important is that you have an open mind and patience with your step-children.
So have you been a step-parent? What was the experience like for you and how did you develop your relationship with your new kids?
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