You've probably put a lot of thought and effort into helping your child adjust to school or daycare for the first time. And maybe you've been looking forward to your new freedom. But if you're like most moms, you've found yourself wiping away a tear or two as well. So for a little help managing your own separation anxiety...
The crumpled face, the arms velcro-locked around your knees, the wail that rips through your heart. Virtually every parent who has left a toddler with a caregiver has experienced this. It's the normal response of a securely attached toddler who protests what she perceives as a life-threatening separation from her mother.
Of course, the number one thing every child needs is love. But let's assume you adore your preschooler. What's the top ten list to help him thrive? Kids this age need guidance and limits, but remember that their brains are still developing. They get flooded with emotion very easily.
Kids who regularly eat dinner with their families do better in school, are happier, and are less likely to get into any kind of trouble you can name. But you're so busy. You're already tired when weeknights start, and they go by in a flash. What can you do?<
The basic idea is simple and intuitively obvious. To survive, human babies need parents to keep them from harm's way for many years, and to teach them survival skills. So all humans are born seeking close attachments. That's why newborns hang on to your finger and babies cry to be picked up.
Every parent's nightmare is that phone call telling them that something has happened to their child. Rest assured that despite the prominent publicity that accompanies tragedies, they are rare. And even more encouraging, experts say that most abuse cases, abductions, and even accidents involving children can be prevented...
Most kids talk nonstop when they're in preschool. In elementary school, many kids begin to clam up with their parents. But there are strategies to get your kids to talk with you, and the more they get used to it, the more natural it will become.
Most parents nowadays try not to use physical punishment. Many have been advised instead to use timeouts to "calm" kids down and correct bad behavior. But any child can explain to you that timeouts are still punishment. And we all know that sending a kid to a timeout it is not the best way to calm him!
Toddlerhood can be a maddening time for parents. Your baby is growing into her own person. Your challenge is to keep your sanity and keep her safe. Your best strategy is to cultivate a great relationship with her and enjoy her emerging independence. How?
It's obvious that the less displaced your older child feels by the new baby, the less jealousy she'll suffer. One way for her to feel secure in her role in the family is invite her to join the "home team" along with the parents.
One of the most important tasks in parenting toddlers is helping them learn to manage their emotions, which is the foundation of interpersonal relationships. This skill set is more critical to their happiness in life than school performance or any of our other conventional measures.
I used to think that trying hard to reach perfection made me a better person. I worked myself ragged to be perfect, and part of the time I almost succeeded. In between, I got so resentful of my all too human husband -- how could he sit down to relax? -- that I exploded at him.
We can't give kids talent, but we can train the eye, ear and mind, and we can help our children gain access to a creative way of seeing. We can also help them develop the concentration, competence, perseverance, and optimism necessary to succeed in creative pursuits. How?
"But I hate setting limits. It's the worst part of being a parent!" Some parents, the ones I might call permissive, tell me they hate setting limits, particularly when their children are toddlers and respond with great frustration. They hate the idea of causing their child more grief
Why does this little trick work so effectively? Because it sidesteps the power struggle. The child is in charge. You aren't making him do something, he is choosing. No one likes to be forced to do something. Here, because he chooses, he cooperates. So how do you use this magic wand?
Research has shown that toddlers tantrum less and cooperate more when they feel more powerful. There are three key ways you can help your toddler experience herself as a person with healthy power in the world...
Your teenager slams the door to her bedroom. Your ten-year-old huffs "Mom, you never understand!" Your four-year-old screams "I hate you, Mommy!" What's the most important thing to remember? DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY! This isn't primarily about you, it's about them.
Makes you feel put on the spot, right? Most of us respond to our kids' boredom by providing technological entertainment or structured activities. But unstructured time challenges kids to engage with themselves and the world, to imagine and invent and create.
Update: Marie had her twins! As we wait for the birth story, here is the happy news! Heather was born at 4:18 p.m., weighing 3 pounds, 12 ounces, and is 16 1/2 inches long, with apgars of 8 and 9. Hannah was born at 4:19 pm, weighing in at 4 pounds even, and is 16 1/4 inches long with apgars of 8 and 9.