child development, family time, momblog, Relationships

Actively Listening to your Child

via Actively Listening to your Child

Communicating with our children can be a difficult task at times.  We feel like they’re not listening to us; they feel like we’re not listening to them.  Good listening and communications skills are essential to successful parenting.  Your child’s feelings, views and opinions have worth, and you should make sure you take the time to sit down and listen openly and discuss them honestly.

It seems to be a natural tendency to react rather than to respond.  We pass judgment based on our own feelings and experiences.  However, responding means being receptive to our child’s feelings and emotions and allowing them to express themselves openly and honestly without fear of repercussion from us.  By reacting, we send our child the message that their feelings and opinions are invalid.  But by responding and asking questions about why the child feels that way, it opens a dialog that allows them to discuss their feelings further, and allows you a better understanding of where they’re coming from.  Responding also gives you an opportunity to work out a solution or a plan of action with your child that perhaps they would not have come up with on their own.  Your child will also appreciate the fact that maybe you do indeed understand how they feel.

It’s crucial in these situations to give your child your full and undivided attention.  Put down your newspaper, stop doing dishes, or turn off the television so you can hear the full situation and make eye contact with your child.   Keep calm, be inquisitive, and afterwards offer potential solutions to the problem.

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Don’t discourage your child from feeling upset, angry, or frustrated.  Our initial instinct may be to say or do something to steer our child away from it, but this can be a detrimental tactic.  Again, listen to your child, ask questions to find out why they are feeling that way, and then offer potential solutions to alleviate the bad feeling.

Just as we do, our children have feelings and experience difficult situations.  By actively listening and participating with our child as they talk about it, it demonstrates to them that we do care, we want to help and we have similar experiences of our own that they can draw from.  Remember, respond – don’t react.


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child development, Child's Education

FUN YET SIMPLE ACTIVITIES FOR TODDLERS 18-24 MONTHS

Once your child goes beyond a year old, she will be exploring so many things in her surroundings. It is the time when she would try to sneak into your kitchen and open the cupboards herself. It is the dangerous period when she would climb up the staircases and leave you breathless.

So how can you keep your baby busy on safer and more meaningful things? What are the best activities that you could give her during this stage?

To help you get through this time successfully, I have listed five of the best ways to make your 18-24 month old baby happy and busy:

1. Ignite interest with picture books.

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Picture books are a real gift to the learning journey of our children. Most of the picture books that you will find in the bookstores and markets are of various themes and ideas. You can pick a book about shapes where different items that resemble certain shapes are shown so that your child can be familiar with them.

The toddler stage is the perfect time for your kids to embrace the fun in learning. It is ideal to introduce her to new words and concepts through the use of picture books.

2. Develop curiosity with wooden toys.

The use of wooden toys is promoted by the Montessori education. Contrary to plastics, wooden toys are safe for your kids. Just make sure that the wood has been painted with non-toxic materials.

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There are different kinds of wooden toys out there. The best wooden toys for children below two years old are those that can introduce geometric concepts and patterns. It is also nice to give her a wooden xylophone because music can intensify the cognitive development of children.

3. Stimulate creativity with art.

Boy, drawing a picture for fathers day

You might be surprised that your toddler can already create wonderful art even at her young age! Just allow her to hold a non-toxic and washable crayon with a piece of paper. See what she can randomly create! Do not forget to capture her creations through a photograph. There are also jewelry makers who can transform your toddler’s first doodles into a pendant for you to keep forever.

Other art ideas include tracing her hands using colorful and washable markers on a piece of paper, painting her toy box, making a DIY paint using a yogurt, or putting some stickers on a surface. Remember to be forgiving during this stage. There is no point in being so strict about cleanliness. Let her be messy to explore all areas of creativity.

4. Promote fine motor skills with play.

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You should not wait until her preschool years before you even attempt to consider the development of your child’ fine motor skills. You can check out the internet for some cool ideas about fine motor activities. One sample activity is the insert pipe game. Just get a used cardboard box, empty its contents, and create even round holes on the box. Then cut small pipe cleaners which your child could insert into the holes.

There is no need to spend so much on the toys of your baby. You can make do of whatever there is at your home. Be resourceful enough and enjoy the process.

5. Explore sensory capabilities with experiments.

Aren’t experiments fun? You don’t need to be a scientist just to let your child feel awesome about them! One experiment that you can do is the bubble fun experiment. Just get an empty bottle, fill it with water, pour some shampoo into it, add some food dye, and shake. Prepare three different colors to make things a lot more exciting. Your child will surely be amazed by the resulting bubbles!

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Another experiment that you can do is the simple pancake experiment. Create a pancake and add interesting toppings like mallows, nuts, syrup, and more. Let her get one topping at each time and ask her what she feels. Explain the idea of color, texture, taste, and flavor.

Enjoy every step of your journey to parenting. The toddler stage can be exhausting but it can also be extremely fun and meaningful for as long as you delight in little joys.


how to be the most loving parent the smart wayGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu

child development, family time, Relationships

You Can’t Spoil a Child through Love

Though we all worry about spoiling our child, rest assured that you cannot spoil your child with love. Love doesn’t spoil children. Love is imperative to a child’s healthy development, and it’s just not possible to love your child too much. They need caring adults to spend time with them, play with them, teach them, protect them, and enjoy life with them.

It’s a parent’s job to provide love, safety and encouragement. The process of growing up provides children with lots of challenges. Try to listen openly and understand their situation and communicate honestly with them when they have difficulties and letdowns in their life.

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Set appropriate limits with your child and then adhere to them. Establishing limits with your child gives them a sense of safety and security.  Sometimes parents do not set limits because they don’t want to fight with their children. They don’t want to cause bad feelings. They may beg a child to comply. Or they may make a rule and fail to enforce it. They may nag without ever enforcing the rules. None of these helps children.

When your child fails to adhere or comply with the boundaries you’ve set for them, be firm yet kind in your response. This lets them know that you’re serious about the rule but dedicated to helping and loving them.

Bear in mind though that each child is different and what works for one child may not work for another. For example, one child may respond well to the direct approach of telling them a specific time to be home, where another child may need a gentle reminder that it’s now time to come home.

Develop a firm but a kind manner of making and enforcing your household’s rules and expectations.  There’s no need to fear our children, and there should be no need to instill a sense of fear in our children in order to get them to comply.  


how to be the most loving parent the smart wayGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu

child development, Relationships

The Keys to Effective Discipline

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Disciplining a child is one of the most important, yet difficult, roles of being a parent.  Effective discipline teaches a child to be self-disciplined later in life.  It helps your child grow up to be happy and well-adjusted. Effective and positive discipline teaches and guides children, and helps them to feel safe, secure, and valued.

Discipline should be based on a child’s age, development and temperament. A parent’s goals by disciplining their child is to protect them from danger, to help them learn self-control and self-discipline and to develop a sense of responsibility. 

Children should be respectful of their parent’s authority. If they’re disciplined harshly or unfairly, especially if it includes shouting or humiliating, will make it difficult if not impossible for a child to respect and trust their parent.

Parents must be consistent in their discipline. Discipline that’s not consistent is confusing to children, no matter how old they are. If parents are inconsistent in the way they discipline their children, children may find it hard to respect them. It can also indirectly encourage misbehaving and result in confusion and frustration for the child.

Discipline must also be fair.  Parents must make sure that the punishment fits the crime and doesn’t punish too severely or is too lax. The consequences of their actions should be related to their behavior.

In order to discourage bad behavior, give your child choices about what to do. He will appreciate the chance to make decisions. Make sure rules that protect the safety, health and well-being of your child are given top priority.  If your child is irritable, tired or upset, be understanding and try to help calm them. It’s important to keep in mind that bad behavior can sometimes be circumstantial.

Encourage positive behavior in your child by spending quality time alone with your child each day. Give your child hugs, cuddles or a gentle pat on the back, and give praise when praise is due.  If your child is angry or sad, try to understand why.  Teach your child good behavior by setting a good example and behaving properly and appropriately yourself.


the quicker_ better way to get your child potty trainedGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu

child development, child safety, family conflict, Relationships

The Importance of Crystal-Clear Rules for your Child

Toddler girl looking through magnifier

The world is a far more scary and complicated place than it was when you were a child.  As a result, it’s imperative that you set adequate yet fair boundaries with your child.  It’s a very important role in your parenting responsibilities. Children must make difficult decisions each day, and if they don’t have clear, firm boundaries set, they may not always make the wisest choice. Limits teach children proper restraint in social and individual activities and provide children with necessary structure and security to assist in healthy development. Setting limits also provide children with guidance before they have an opportunity to get into trouble, thus making them more successful with everyday life.

A child’s age and developmental level needs to be considered when setting limits. All children have a need for independence and individualization; however, they also need structure, security and parental involvement.

It goes without saying that the needs of a 2-year old vary greatly than those of a teenager. A toddler has a strong desire to explore and investigate, but parameters need to be set to ensure their safety while doing so. Teenagers need to be able to be an individual and be independent, but with strong parental guidance and influence, are more likely to make smart choices in difficult situations.

Limits should be discussed and set prior to the situation. Though situations arise that weren’t planned on, daily situations should have set limits and expectations. A teenager who breaks curfew may have the privilege of going out with friends revoked until they learn respect for the rules.  A child who misbehaves while playing with a friend may need to be separated from the fun until they can learn to properly behave.

Children respond in a positive manner in an environment in which they know what to expect and what is excepted of them. A child will be more respectful towards rules and more willing to abide by them if the rules are clear and consistent. 

Additionally, it’s crucial that once a limit is set that they caregiver stick to it.  A child is less likely to try and manipulate a caregiver into changing the limits when their experience has been that there’s no bending on the limits.   And remember, you are the one who sets the limits and lays down the law.  There’s no need to argue with your child.  Be firm and consistent and they are less likely to challenge the rules and will accept the consequences.


how to keep your sleeping baby safeGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu