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.
Seema Shetty wrote to us about a concern she has for her child, her son refuses to go to play school and throws tantrums when he is in the playschool. She is worried and asked us to advice her on the same.
We asked our community of moms for their suggestions to help solve Seema’s problem and have included their advice below.
It is quite normal for some children to resist a new environment like playschool. Many of them suffer from separation anxiety when taken away from their parents. Usually this fear goes away in a few weeks, but you can help your child adjust to new environment by introducing him to it gradually.
Spend some time along with him in the playschool so that he realises it is not something to be afraid of. Allow him to become familiar with his new surroundings and the new people in his life before you leave. Once he starts to have interact with his new classmates and have fun with them, he will not mind your absence as much.
Ask the teacher to entice him with play, toys and fun activities so he knows that it is a fun place to be. Soon he will begin to look forward to his time in school and with his friends.
We are grateful to the parents below for their input.
Pooja Sandhu Choudhuri, Aditi Jagtap Deshmukh, Cristyl Murray, Insiya Makda, Insiya Makda
Some of the kids literally struggle to walk with the heavy backpack and it can be a source of injuries to the child’s back, spine or neck.
Kids usually stuff their bags with all their books, notebooks and stationery items, making the bag very heavy.
Research all over the world has shown that many children carry backpacks, the weight of which is almost 10-15% of the body weight of the kid.
This is actually an alarming weight that is being carried by your child. Here are some of the problems that are caused by heavy backpacks, with solutions to the same:
• Many children take the backpacks on a single shoulder as that makes them look smart. However, this can cause grave injuries as the whole weight comes to a single side of the body.
There are high chances of shoulder and neck straining or there can be injuries to the lower back and spine while trying to adjust the load on single shoulder.
Parents should suggest their children carry the backpack on both shoulders to distribute the load evenly.
• Backpacks which have narrow and tight straps should be shunned completely. When the bag becomes too heavy, the narrow strap tends to dig into the skin of the shoulder obstructing blood flow and also puts pressure on the nerves.
It might lead to various kinds of neurological problems in the arm and shoulder area. Buy backpacks that have wide and soft straps so that the straps can take the pressure and shoulders remain relieved.
• Most the ordinary backpacks lack back support causing immense pain in the back area. While purchasing backpacks ensure that there is firm back support, such as padded protection to the back. That way your kid’s back remains protected from sharp objects that are inside the bag.
• Children tend to stuff all their belongings in a single compartment of the bag. The weight shifts to a single point and becomes too heavy.
It is highly recommended for parents to purchase back packs that have many compartments and ask the child to arrange things in different partitions. This will distribute the load of the bag uniformly.
• You can often see that children fall backwards if they cannot manage their backpack. This happens because the whole weight is towards the back side and losing balance will let the kid fall towards the back.
A waist belt in the backpack can be of help. It will help in distributing the weight effectively over the rest of the body.
For quality backpacks, you can choose from a large selection on Firstcry.com.
The idea of preschool can be daunting for many parents and brings jitters for both children and parents. However, it is important to understand the importance and benefits gained during this stage of academic life.
Preschool is a time when your child will have lots of fun with children their own age and also learn many activities that would be helpful throughout his or her life.
Many parents wonder how they would leave their little ones with strangers in the form of preschool teachers. Thus, it is a good idea to put an effort to get to know your child’s preschool teacher at the start of the year.
Keeping in Touch Regularly
Ensure you make most of your first meeting to create a plan for staying in regular contact with your child’s preschool teacher throughout the year. Ask them for their home phone number or email address, in case of emergencies. Do assure the teacher that this information would be kept confidential private by you.
Teachers get really overwhelmed by parent volunteers. Hence, be specific in what areas interest you and come with suggestions and ideas for how you could be useful in the classroom. By helping out at school parties and performances, you will be able to see both the teacher and children in a more casual setting.
Always imagine that your child’s preschool teacher is the busiest human on earth. Just stopping by the classroom, before or after your child goes to lunch is a reasonable time; but remember this is also the teachers lunch time. So ensure you only meet them at appropriate times or with prior appointments.
Don’t forget to say thank you and pass along compliments and suggestions to your child’s preschool teacher. Everyone appreciates a kind word. Thank her or him every time when they show special sensitivity towards your child and when they pay extra attention to them.
If you have a very serious concern about your child or the class, consult the teacher. Arrange a brainstorming meeting where you both could try to solve issues.
If you are still unhappy, let them know that you want to discuss the matter with their supervisor. But don’t forget to include the teacher in these discussions too, because it will show that you are being respectful of her relationship with your child.
It is very important to structure a good relationship with your child’s preschool teacher for both you and your child for many practical reasons.
Ensure that you approach the teacher with an open mind and with direct questions always. By doing so, you are sure to become an integral part of your child’s preschool experience.
However, going to preschool comes with its fair share of emotional ups and downs for both the child and the parents.
To ensure you and your child benefit from a good relationship with other kids, it is important for parents to take an active role in their children’s nursery life.
Read on to find out more about the developmental milestones of preschool years, as well as suggestions for how you could help your kids learn to enjoy their preschool years.
Easing Your Child’s Fears
Spend time with your child and talk about preschool much before it starts. Right before the first day of their school; introduce them to activities that would take place in their classroom.
For instance, a child familiar with scribbling on paper with crayons at home will find it comforting to find the same crayons and paper in their preschool classroom.
On the very first day of preschool, spend some quality time understanding what your child did on the first day. This interaction is very important for you and will tell you about the child’s experience, activities, opportunities and games that can be planned for your child as they begin to settle in, grow and discover.
Also don’t be too anxious about leaving your child alone, if they start crying when you leave them. The most effective way of parting is to smile and explain to them that you will be back soon.
If your child is reluctant to go to preschool, make sure that there is a staff member who is ready to help with the transfer from your care to the classroom when they arrive there.
Some kids might just get along really well with their classmates, while other kids might need a private cuddle or maybe a story from their teacher before joining the group.
Many children take time to adjust to their preschool days, but eventually they do settle down to the routine and form a good bond with their teachers and peers.
Moreover, it is very important for them to prosper in this area, as when he or she gets older; they will be expected to go through even more social interaction at other academic institutions.
Image courtesy of Jeanne Claire Maarbes / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
We asked our community of mothers for advice and these are the suggestions they came up with.
Adapting to Playschool
Sending a child to school at 1.5 years of age may not be a good idea. The child may not be equipped to handle school at this tender age. It’s quite normal for a child to cry at this age due to separation anxiety and the stress of meeting strangers at school.
However, you can make the transition easier by narrating fascinating stories about school, teachers and activities, to help your child look forward to going to playschool. You could also try first sending your child to summer camp where they have fun activities, so they get used to the idea of going to school.
Take the child to school half an hour early to show them how all their friends come to school without crying. Stay with the child until they are calm. You can try giving some small gifts to the teacher that they can then hand to the child as they come in. This will help them look forward to going to school.
Ask the teachers to help them adapt by allowing them to play only as it is not time to study at this age. Share your child’s likes and dislikes with the teachers as there is no issue with letting them indulge the child at this age.
Most kids love to be with other kids and they should settle down and start enjoying school in a month or so. You could ask your baby if there is some aspect of the classroom that is bothering them. It may be cold, or they may not like the teacher, or perhaps they are being bullied by other kids.
Taking a Bath
Proper time management is essential to get kids into a routine. Early to bed, early to rise is a good practice to follow. Teach them that brushing and bathing are good habits. YouTube has some nice videos for kids showing why cleanliness is important. You can find ones featuring characters like the Teletubbies that your child loves.
Try getting the child some fun bath toys to play with in the tub while bathing. Let them have fun and only start cleaning them with soap when they are enjoying the water. You could wait till afternoon to give them a bath. Not everyone likes taking a bath in the morning, especially in winter.
Thanks to these amazing moms for their input:
Geetanjali Kirti, Seema Kukreja, Grishma Jeegar Doshi, Neelam Das, Dr.Kirti Bansal, Neelam Das, Prerna Mahajan, Papiya Dawn, Panchami Praveen Shamain, Radha Vishwanath, Lavanya Reddy, Deepti Chaturvedi Roy, Pooja Sharma, Shweta Koul, Jayshree Banerjee, Aditi Dahiya Khera, Sindu Anand, Papiya Dawn, Savita Chaudhary, Chitrashree Harsha.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
You may have done all your research and discussed this with all your friends who have school-going kiddies, but unless you experience it yourself, with your kid, there’s not much that you can do about it.
While starting school marks one of the biggest phases in your toddler’s life, it’s also a big phase for you as a parent. And trying to prepare for school a few days or weeks before the final day is a good idea to let your baby get ready for the new routine and life.
1. Be prepared: For the tears that is. As your kid leaves home for the first time and says bye to mamma, it is definitely going to be emotional and filled with tears. Of course not all kids may be crying, and there are some who will actually run off to school with a big smile and wave, but being prepared to see your toddler break into tears is a good way to prepare yourself too – for many times, its not just the little ones who become emotional, but the parents too, especially the mums! Continue reading →