Entries for the ‘Toddlers & Preschoolers’ Category

Teaching our kids to appreciate life.

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

My husband and I both work full time. We want to teach our children, that when you work hard, one can achieve a lot. We don’t have the opportunity to go on family vacations each year, but when we do go on a vacation, we try and teach our children that from working hard, we were able to go on a great vacation and have an amazing time. My children receive a very small allowance each month, but in order for them to get it; they have to do their responsibilities each day. Their responsibilities are things like: keeping their  bed rooms tidy each day. Putting their clothes in the laundry each day and taking their plates and cups to the kitchen after meal time. We don’t eat out at restaurants often as it can get very pricey. When they come home with their report cards each term, regardless of their grades, provided we know that they worked hard to achieve the grade what ever it is, that night we will take them out for dinner to celebrate. We are not trying to be cruel parents, but rather teach our children that luxuries are not things that are just given on a daily basis, but should also be earned. We don’t expect things to ever be perfect. We encourage hard work to get far in life. We never compare them to each other or to other children, but encourage them to do the best that they can do for themselves. We teach our kids to appreciate life and we celebrate passionately.

Kids, programs and pressure

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

 My 6 year old daughter has  adjusted well to grade one and going to school five full days a week, plus a little bit of daily homework. However that seems to be enough for her. On Saturdays we do swimming in the mornings, as swimming is a “have to do”. For safety reasons, all kids have no choice but to learn how to swim properly on their own. She is really enjoying the swimming a lot, and at the moment it does not feel like it is a chore. She has no interest to do dance, gymnastics, skating, karate or any other extra curriculum. She loves to play with her princesses and Barbie’s and creates wonderful imaginative games. She loves play dates and socializing with all her new friends that she has from grade one.

Personally I am not worried and feel it’s wonderful that my daughter actually wants to be a kid. She swims on a Saturday which is something, and better than doing no physical fitness programs. I feel that a lot of children are ‘pushed’ into doing so many extra curricular activities both after school and on weekends, that they have no time to be a kid. I will always encourage the other programs, but not force them, as I want them to come from my daughter as her choice and enjoyment, and not for it to be a chore. In the meantime she will enjoy doing a little bit of a fitness program, and use her creative imagination and while loving the joys of childhood.



Where do your kids sleep?

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Call us cruel parents, but our children who are now 6yrs old and 9 yrds old, have never ever been allowed to sleep in our bed. Were they perfect sleepers as infants, not at all. They were actually terrible sleepers as new borns and babies. But each time they woke up no matter how exhausted I was, they were put back into their own beds. Even if they had a bad dream or still do, and come to tell us in the middle of the night. We walk them back to their own beds. I am very close to both my children and now that they are a bit older they enjoy their sleep in the comfort of their own beds.

Approaching your child’s world with optimism

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Childhood can be both very exciting, and very challenging. It is very important to have a positive approach to our child’s world.

Our children never stop learning. Each stage of their life brings new learning and growing opportunities.When our children are babies, they discover new sounds, sights and movements. Babies absorb so many new things each day. They become excited, when learning something new; it takes them to each new stage of development. Babies learn to roll over and start to reach toys by themselves. They learn to sit upright, they learn to crawl, stand and walk by themselves. As they enter these new stages of development, they learn a sense of self confidence and independence. They also learn to wave and clap their hands. Babies make different sounds and noises; they smile, gurgle and laugh. It is the most precious moment for a parent, when a baby smiles and laughs for the first time.

Being a toddler and entering preschool age is certainly a very exciting time along with different challenges. It is a time when children explore new avenues. They learn to communicate and express themselves; they begin this by pointing to what they want and also using a certain amount of sign language. They develop sounds, words, and slowly start putting words together to form sentences, until they are able to communicate properly with an adult. They discover how to play with different toys. They learn to use their imagination, and also learn how to interact and socialize with other children..

School age is a new chapter in our children’s lives. This stage of a child’s life is challenging. Exciting and rewarding. Parents and care givers should encourage school and learning to be a positive experience. Each challenge should be approached calmly and one should always encourage the “doors of communication” to be open. .

We need to be excited with our children, about each stage of their lives. As our children develop in life, and approach each new challenge that they are faced with, we need to instil a strong sense of self confidence and self respect as well as respect for others, within our children.

Each child is unique, and each child has their own ‘special’ quality in themselves, that he/her will excel in, in life. As parents, care givers, teachers and child care workers, it is important to bring out the best in each child, so that each child can “blossom’ in life.


Swim like a fish

Friday, October 26th, 2007

On Saturday mornings I take my children to swimming lessons. Fortunately in Canada, there are lots of indoor swimming pools at the community centres and fitness clubs and one can have the opportunity to take their children swimming no matter what season it is.

Over here they teach children to swim in different Red Cross levels. Each level requires the children to learn different swimming techniques and to complete the level by the end of the 8-10 week session. If they do complete the level they are then able to move to the next Red cross Swim level and also receive a Red Cross badge. Unfortunately they have changed the requirements in the swimming levels and made it a little more difficult to complete each level.

Personally I think there are more disadvantages then advantages for a child to learn how to swim this way. Firstly, instead of encouraging children to want to learn to swim and have great confidence when swimming, it can really do the opposite. Secondly they do not actually learn how to be safe in the water by themselves or even learn to swim properly until they’ve completed the first 4 - 5 levels. This may actually take quite a few years.

When I was young the first thing they taught us to do was tread water and “doggy paddle”. At least if you fell in the water you knew how to do something. After that, we were taught the techniques of swimming.

A lot of young children have trouble putting their faces in the water. So each time they do not do this, they fail completing the level. Of course this does not help their desire to swim or their confidence.

If you do have a child that is afraid to put their face in the water, don’t make an issue of it. Give swimming a break for awhile, and I promise as they mature they will do it on their own.

Try not to make swimming lessons such a chore, rather let your children have fun and enjoy the water.  I hope that all your children learn how to swim like a fish.

Anything in extreeme is not healthy

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

We all want to do what’s best for our children. Sometimes parents don’t realize that what they are doing can be detrimental to their children.

You hear of Sam, the little boy that was never allowed even the slightest bit of sugar in his diet. His parents only wanted him to eat healthy food. That sounds alright, nothing wrong with that. However when Sam turned 3 years old, he was invited to a friend’s birthday party, and while all the other children ran around and played and had fun, Sam sat at the snack table guzzling down the candy that he had never tasted before. Of course giving candy to your children daily is unhealthy, however anything in moderation is okay, and a very small treat once a week is acceptable to give.

It’s the same with discipline. The child that is screamed at daily for every tiny thing that the parents feel they do wrong, will cause them to turn into an anxious child. The child who never hears the word no, will be the type of child that people dread having over to their house, as they become destructive and unpleasant to be around. The best thing to do is to choose your battles, but to teach your children to be respectful and to teach them the difference between right and wrong. Give them lots of praise and self confidence, but don’t let them be your boss, show them that you are in charge.

It also applies to things like too much programming or too little programming of your school age child. Children already spend a full week at school and are basically there for a whole day. Some children go to school a full day and their parents put them into a different extra curriculum activity each night and all weekend.  Those children are sometimes so over programmed, not only do they not have time to relax and be kids for awhile, but they also burn our before they are even teenagers. Other children do not activities after school and nothing on the weekend either. You know your child best. If you think that too many activities in the week as well as full days of school each day is too much for your child, then at least do one activity or two activities on the weekend. Try and pick an activity that your child wants to do, and will have fun and that they don’t feel like it’s a chore. If you feel your child is the type that needs to be busy constantly, then instead of always putting them into programs make time for play dates as socialization is also very important. kids.

You know your child the best and what would work for your child’s needs. Although it is not always easy, try and create a balanced situation for your child. Anything in extreme is not healthy and can do a lot of harm to our children without us realizing it.



Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Should we be exposing our children to germs or should we be walking around with hand sanitizer in our purses?

Babies and little children tend to get sick a lot, especially after they join a daycare or preschool for the first time.

Unfortunately babies and toddlers put their hands in their mouths a lot, and also put toys in their mouths, especially babies who are teething. Other babies and toddlers will then pick up the same toys and put it in their mouths a minute later, and that’s how they pass their germs to one another. Is this avoidable? Not really when they are this little. However the best thing that one can do about this is to teach your baby and toddler from a very young age, not to put toys in their mouths. Take it out their mouths and repeatedly say, no Michael no toys in your mouth. It will take a long time but eventually when they become toddlers, they will learn not to put either toys or their hands in their mouths.

One doesn’t always have the time to wash toys daily, but when ever you have a chance you should try and keep the toys clean, also if you have taken a toy out of your child’s mouth, immediately put in the sink to be cleaned.

From the time your children are babies and toddlers, get them in to the habit of washing their hands, before and after meal time.

As your children grow into school age children, the best method of prevention of germs is to them to wash their hands. Get your children to wash their hands before and after meal time, as well as each time after going to the bathroom.

Although we do not want our children getting sick often, it is not always a bad thing, if our children are exposed to some form of germs. This helps build up a strong immune system later in life. We wonder how doctors stay as healthy as they do when they have a lot of bad germs around them, and this is probably because they have been exposed to so many bad germs they have had the opportunity to build up a stronger immune system. It is important to introduce your children to as many different types of foods as you can when they are young, this can also help build up their immune system, and prevent allergies later on.

One doesn’t realize that your children are not only exposed to germs in daycares, preschool and schools, but that even in the parks and shopping malls and any other public place, they are exposed to germs.

Don’t wrap your child up in cotton wool, but provide them with a healthy and nutritious diet, exercise, and a positive outlook on life, and your child will grow and develop into a healthy child.

Do parents create their children’s problems?

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

A lot of the time yes. Of course each child has a different personality and sometimes it’s the way we approach situations with our children that cause them to react in certain ways.

However if we are very anxious parents, and if we tend to be anxious about most situations that our children are in, then absolutely we will cause nervous and anxious children. Children feed off our emotions.

If we are relaxed parents and we approach each new and challenging situation that our children are in, in a calm and positive manner, then our children will feel calm about their new situations.

When your children are small, and experience situations like new daycares, or preschools, one must remember that this it is as equally new for your child as it is for the parents. I understand that change is not easy and that we all want our little children to be happy in their new situations. Parents must remember that just like an adult takes time to adjust and settle in to new situations, so does a child.

When your little one is adjusting to their new daycare or preschool environment, parents must be prepared for adjustment time. Always make your goodbyes quick as the quicker one leaves the quicker your child’s attention can be redirected and they can settle down easily into their new environment.

This also applies to your children from kindergarten right through the elementary grades and high school too. It even applies to your children who become young adults and approach university and after that have to go for their first job interview.

Parenting is not always easy and no one gave us a manual to follow. However a lot of children’s problems and anxiety’s comes from their parents own doing. So try and relax on your journey during parenting, and approach each step calmly and positively.

Disciplining our babies and toddlers.

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Often we hear parents say that they can’t believe that their babies and toddlers understand so much, and that they are so smart.

Yet, when it comes to having to discipline our babies and toddlers, a lot of parents say, oh she/he is too young to understand that they are doing something wrong – quite a contradictory isn’t it?

Discipline does not mean being mean to babies and toddlers, but rather teaching them and giving them direction.

Here are some methods of discipline that can guide parents along.

Firstly, always reward positive behaviour! Children thrive on praise, and it also helps to develop a good sense of self confidence.

Teach your children to use good manners and to respect other children and people.

From the time our children are babies, and begin to move around and explore their environment, it is important to teach them what they can and can’t touch. This is important for safety reasons too. All we have to do is in a firm tone say “No Jack you cannot put your hands all over the television!” Move Jack away from the television and re-direct his attention on to a toy that he can play with safely. Keep repeating this to your child and eventually they will loose interest in touching things that they are not supposed to. Be consistent so that your child learns well and does not receive mixed messages.

When our children are toddlers, disciple is a real challenge. Once again always reward positive behaviour, by doing this you will encourage good behaviour, and also develop a good sense of self esteem.

Your toddler will understand if you speak in a firm tone, when teaching them that certain behaviour like aggressive behaviour or impolite behaviour is not acceptable.

Toddlers become strong willed and will try everything to fight for what they want. Re-direction is a wonderful way of moving your child’s attention on to something else, and preventing a lot of upset behaviour. Be positive and show your toddler that they can have fun with lots of different toys, teach them to take turns and share while socializing with their friends.

Time out is also successful, it does not need to be something harsh or negative .It removes a toddler from the situation, and gives them a small moment to understand that what they where doing is not right. Teach your toddler to apologize to other children for upsetting them, and once again re-direct their attention to different toys.

Discipline can be a challenge with our babies and toddlers, but be consistent and be patient, so that we can encourage our babies and toddlers to grow into happy confident children.

Kids & Food

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

Food seems to be a common topic among parents with young children.

You often hear parents say: “I’m so lucky, my child eats what ever I put in front of him” Then you hear the opposite from other parents, “Food is a constant battle”

There usually are 3 categories, when it comes to young children ad eating.

1) The “perfect” little eater.

2) The child that has a lot of variety in his or her diet, but is a little “fussy’ with certain things.

3) The very ‘fussy’ eater.

If your young child is a “perfect” eater like in category number one, then you are very lucky, so continue to incorporate a variety of foods in his or her diet, which should incorporate all four food groups.

Don’t be alarmed though, as your child grows up, their tastes do change with age, and so he or she may not be as open to as much of a variety of food as when they were young.

If your young child fits into category number two, don’t make a fuss about the food that he or she might not like. Rather continue to give the variety in their diet that they already have, and slowly but surely you can introduce other new things.

If your child fits into category number 3, I would first of all not make any issue of meal times. Find things that your child likes to eat, continue to give that as long as they are eating either fruit or vegetables. Slowly encourage new and different things from the four food groups. Try to make meal time and food fun, and even consider offering food in different ways e.g. try offering frozen peas instead of cook peas, you’ll be pleasantly surprised in how you can get your child to enjoy something new just by changing the way you prepare it. Also sometimes get them to choose want they want to eat and to help you prepare the meal. Children feel important to be involved in the process and you’ll be surprised once again at the variety that they might be willing to try. However if your child is adamant not to eat new things, don’t make an issue of it. Leave it alone. As children grow up, their tastes do change and they certainly become a lot more willing to try different food.

You’ll be surprised. Some of the children, who began as the fussiest eaters when they were small, eventually learn to appreciate all kinds of food. Usually the ones you least expect, will like the most variety of foods later on in life, and become ‘food adventurous’.


When you have young children, meal time and eating should not become a stressful issue. If it does, then later in life these are the children who will be prone to developing more serious eating disorder.


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