Friday, January 4, 2019

Tip # 9 The Art of Using Language

Giving structured choices
Sometimes our children want what they want when they want it.  By offering a choice,
they may decide that what they are being offered is better than what they want.
“Brittany likes to get dressed herself for Kindergarten but she often makes poor choices -
wearing shorts when it’s 30 degrees out!  I don’t want to discourage her from being
independent, but how do I get her to choose wisely?”
“Dylan won’t sit with us at the dinner table - help!”
Here are two example where parents and children have a difference of opinion!  
Try offering choices: “Brittany, let’s check to see what the weather's like tomorrow and
then we can go see what clothes you can pick out for school. “  Mom and Brittany can
work together selecting two outfits for the next day. In the morning, Brittany can choose
one or the other outfits. Mom can be really slick and suggest  two outfits that will coordinate
even if Brittany switches them up! Verbal praise the next day should bring a smile to
Brittany’s face! Mom can say “That was fun! Let’s check the weather again tonight and
see what you can wear to be comfortable!”

Dylan can be given a choice too - “Dylan, dad has a funny story to share at dinner.  
If you come sit with us, yout get to hear his story! If you eat just one piece of food,
than you can go play.  If you eat all your food, you can have dessert!” It’s still his choice
but there are hidden rewards and consequences.  Reward: fun conversations and dessert
and then play; Consequences: He’ll hear and see what he is missing including dessert!

No "ifs"
Make requests in language that assumes cooperation. "If you finish putting away 
your crayons, we can go to the park," suggests that perhaps your child won't clean up 
his crayons. Try instead: "When you put your crayons away, we'll go to the park."

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Tip # 8 Rewarding Your Child

“My child loves stickers, so I started giving her a sticker whenever she did
something I wanted her to do.  But now, she refuses to be responsible unless
I tell her that she will get a sticker - even to dress up! I feel like she is holding
me hostage and will only do what I want her to do if she gets a sticker!  
What do I do?”

Many parents use stickers, charts and simply toys, extra dessert, etc. as incentives
for the child to do things.  There is nothing wrong with this practice, but a reward
should not be used for every little thing. These rewards should be used judiciously.  
We don’t want children to misbehave knowing that if they stop, they will be rewarded.
No one wants to be manipulated by a child!
If your child is always working for the reward, he won't learn the real reasons
for doing things -- that he should pick up his toys because family members pitch in.
Best bet: Reserve rewards for finite endeavors, such as potty training or going to
sleep without a fuss.  Avoid offering them for everyday things, such as dressing
himself or brushing his teeth.
You can talk to your child about the difference between doing things because they
are right or need to be done.  Things such as cleaning up toys or putting trash in the
garbage are doing things because they are the right thing to do.  Getting homework
done is another example.
But going the extra mile, like seeing Grandpa rake the leaves and your child pitching
in to help deserves a reward.  Babysitting the neighbor's dog deserves a reward.
We want our children to grow up to be responsible adults by doing what is asked of
them and what is the right thing to do.  We don’t want kids growing up thinking that they
need to control others to get what they want and that the only times they will act wisely,
is if there is something in it for themselves.  Our society needs people who are more
altruistic than manipulative.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Tip #7 “My child gives me a problem every time I want her to do something different - what do I do?”

Tip # 7   

hide and seek

“My child gives me a problem every time I want her to do something different -
what do I do?”

This is a common situation both at school and at home for many of our young learners.  
They become so occupied in whatever they are doing, that they do not want to stop. They do
not have a concept of time yet, so even if you tell them for example, at 9:00 you
have a dentist appointment, they will not understand to be ready to go just before this.  
Here are some ways to help you adjust this time concept and help with
these transition times:

Give a Fair Warning   If your child “pitches a fit” whenever you announce it's time to
switch gears --whether that means shutting off the TV, stopping play to come to eat, or
leaving a friend's house -- it could be that you're not giving enough advance notice. "At
school we let kids know when transitions are coming so they have time to finish
whatever they're doing," observes Cohen-Dorfman. "If you need to leave the house
at 8:30 a.m., warn your child at 8:15 that she's five more minutes to play, they will have
to stop to put her toys away. Set a timer so she knows when the time is up."

Transition Signals  You could also train your child with a signal to let them know that
a change is about to come:  clap your hands, sing a song, play music, ring a chime.
Whatever you decide, allow your child time to understand and get used to this.  

Monday, August 20, 2018

Tip #6

Lighten up. If your child refuses to do something, try turning it into a game. "Humor and games are two great tools that parents sometimes forget about in the heat of the moment," says Zebooker. When her own son, now 13, was in preschool, she used to persuade him to put his shoes on in the morning by playing shoe store. "I would say, 'Welcome to Miss Mommy's Shoe Store, I've got the perfect pair for you to try on today,' and I'd speak in a silly accent and he loved it." (I've had luck using this strategy with Sophie, who used to clamp her mouth shut whenever I tried to brush her teeth. Now we play the "Let's Guess What You Ate Today" game -- and she willingly opens up so I can search her molars for cereal, strawberries, or mac and cheese.)
Want a boy to “hit” the toilet water and not miss, try floating a Cheerio in the water - what fun!  Want the kids to clean up their messy room? “Let’s pretend that all the toys want to be together - where should be put them?”  As a parent we should always maintain a sense of humor - it not only helps ease a sticky situation but can help build that close parent bond.  Remaining positive through laughter and games will give you one up to convince your youngster to do what you want them to do.

Who does like smiling and laughing a something funny and who does like play games.  Try these tools and you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Tip # 5 Praise is KEY!


Walk into almost any preschool class in the country, and you'll see
children sitting quietly in circles, forming orderly lines, raising their hands to
speak, passing out napkins and snacks.
The question is: How do teachers do it? How do they get a dozen or more
children under 4 to cooperate, willingly and happily?
While there's no secret formula, most say:
Praise is key - Try to catch them being good. Kids repeat behaviors that get
attention.  “I love the way…” “Look what a great job you did!”
Try rewards such as stickers, pennies, an ice cream treat at the end
of a week doing something you want them to accomplish.  
Look for ways to use praise to positively reinforce the behaviors
you want children to keep; ignore those behaviors you want extinguished.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018


Tip # 4

4. Let them solve simple problems. If you see your child trying to assemble a toy or get a book from a shelf that she can reach if she stands on her step stool, pause before racing over to help. "Provided that they are safe, those moments when you don't rush in, when you give children a moment to solve things for themselves, those are the character-building moments," says Zebooker. "It's natural to want to make everything perfect, but if we do, we cheat kids of the chance to experience success."

Think about all the thinking and actions that go into your child’s problem solving.  They decide what they need or want; find a way, or more than one way, to solve the problem and then enable themselves to attain the desired outcome.  This is the beginning of a lifelong mind set for problem solving! When they enter the school systems, they will need to solve many problems: socially, academically, physically, etc.
Allowing your child to begin to use independence until they ask for help will foster them to want to be more independent.  Isn’t it great to think that someday, when your youngster is ready for college or their first apartment, they will be ready to tackle these big leaps because you allowed the small leaps?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

We’re on a roll! Tip #3

We’re on a roll!  Tip #3
3. Don't redo what they've done. If your child makes her bed, resist the urge to smooth
the blankets. If she dresses herself in stripes and polka dots, compliment her
"eclectic" style. Unless absolutely necessary, don't fix what your child accomplishes,
says Kathy Buss, director of the Weekday Nursery School, in Morrisville, Pennsylvania.
She will notice and it may discourage her.

When children begin to show their independence, they do what they think is the perfect job!  
Continue to encourage this independence with praise and other easy “jobs” so they
can gain confidence.  Think about it - if you are trying to impress your boss and all you
get is being told to redo it, wouldn’t that make you feel like a failure?  
Or you might just want to give up! We don’t want our kids to give up; let them push forward.
The ultimate goal of any parent is to raise a child who will become self sufficient and
independent as an adult.