child development, healthy food, Relationships

Training the Fussy Eater

Toddlers can be fussy eaters who refuse to try a new food at least half of the time. Approximately half of all toddlers fit this description, so it is no wonder that food issues are a source of stress for parents.

Establishing healthy eating patterns is important to avoid problems such as obesity and eating disorders later in life. Various strategies can help your child accept a wider range of foods.  It may be necessary to offer food to your child as many as 10 different times before they choose to eat it. The problem is, many parents get frustrated and give up before the fourth or fifth try.

Picky eater

Try to make foods fun.  Colorful foods like carrot sticks, raisins, apples, grapes, cheese sticks and crackers can all be fun and healthy choices for your growing toddler.  Explain to them that eating good food is important so they’ll grow big and strong, and how it will help them run faster and play longer.

Children learn behaviors from their parents. If you restrict yourself to a narrow range of foods, your child will take notice and mimic your caution. Don’t limit your child’s food variety to only those foods you prefer. It may be that your child’s tastes are different to yours, and perhaps you are simply serving them foods they don’t happen to like.  Try to set a good example and try a variety of foods in front of your child. It could motivate them to do the same.

If your child seems healthy and energetic, then they are eating enough. If you are still concerned, keep an eye on how much food they actually eat over the day. Children tend to graze constantly, rather than restrict their eating to three meals per day like adults. You may be surprised how those little handfuls and snacks add up. For further reassurance, check your child’s growth and weight charts, or check with your child’s pediatrician.

Try not to worry, and remember, that unless a child is ill, they will eat.   Children are very good at judging their hunger and fullness signals. Try to stay relaxed about mealtime and offer your child a wide variety of foods, and most importantly, remember to set a good example by trying a wide variety of foods yourself.  You may discover you and your toddler share a new found favorite food!


 

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child development

Tactics for Tackling a Toddler’s Temper Tantrum

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Even the best behaved toddler has an occasional temper tantrum.  A tantrum can range from whining and crying to screaming, kicking, hitting, and breath holding. They’re equally common in boys and girls and usually occur from age 1 to age 3. Some children may experience regular tantrums, whereas for other children, tantrums may be rare. Some kids are more prone to throwing a temper tantrum than others.

Toddlers are trying to master the world and when they aren’t able to accomplish a task, they often use one of the only tools at their disposal for venting frustration – a tantrum. There are several basic causes of tantrums that are familiar to parents everywhere: The child is seeking attention or is tired, hungry, or uncomfortable. In addition, tantrums are often the result of children’s frustration with the world.  Frustration is an unavoidable part of kids’ lives as they learn how people, objects, and their own bodies work.

Tantrums are common during the second year of life, a time when children are acquiring language. Toddlers generally understand more than they can express. As language skills improve, tantrums tend to decrease.

Keep off-limits objects out of sight and out of reach, which will make struggles less likely to develop over them. Distract your child. Take advantage of your little one’s short attention span by offering a replacement for the coveted object or beginning a new activity to replace the frustrating or forbidden one.  And choose your battles: consider the request carefully when your child wants something. Is it outrageous? Maybe it isn’t. Accommodate when possible to avoid an outburst.

Make sure your child isn’t acting up simply because he or she isn’t getting enough attention. To a child, negative attention (a parent’s response to a tantrum) is better than no attention at all. Try to establish a habit of catching your child being good (“time in”), which means rewarding your little one with attention and praise for positive behavior.  This will teach them that acting appropriately makes mommy and daddy happy and proud, and they’ll be anxious to do it again and again.


 

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

child development, healthy food, Relationships

The Importance of a Regular Routine to your Child

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Regular schedules provide the day with a structure that orders a young child’s world. Although predictability can be tiresome for adults, children thrive on repetition and routine. Schedules begin from the first days of life. Babies, especially, need regular sleep and meal programs and even routines leading up to those activities.

As they gets older, when a child knows what is going to happen and who is going to be there, it allows them to think and feel more independently,  and feel more safe and secure. A disrupted routine can set a child off and cause them to feel insecure and irritable.

Dinnertime is a great place to start setting a routine.  Sitting together at the dinner table gives children the opportunity to share their day and talk about their feelings.  This is also a great time to include some responsibility in your child’s routine, such as helping to set or clear the table.

And regardless of how exhausted you or your children may be, don’t be tempted to skip winding down from the day.  This is part of a nighttime ritual and allows both child and parent to decompress after a busy day. It also helps bedtime go more smoothly.  This is usually the time of day when parent and child can spend some quality time together, so fight the urge to start the laundry or do the dishes until after the child has gone to bed.  If this isn’t possible, consider trading off these duties with your spouse each night to ensure your child has quality time with each parent on a regular basis. Take the time to find out what wind-down strategy works best for your child.  Some children are actually energized instead of relaxed by a warm bath, so if that’s the case with your child, bath time should be saved for a different time of day. Whatever routine you settle on, make it quiet, relaxing, and tranquil for everyone.  

And though routines are essential, there should be some room to be flexible as well.  You might be out late at night on a family outing, have unexpected company show up that may result in a skipped meal or nap in the car while running errands in the evening.  In these instances, it’s important for you to keep your cool. If you express frustration or anger about disrupting the routine, your child will as well. Prepare children for such unexpected events and show them that though it can happen from time to time, the routine will return the next day.

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


 

child development, Relationships

Successful Two-Way Communications with your Child

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One of the most frustrating challenges we face as parents is communicating effectively with our child. Though we strive to open an honest two-way line of communication with our child, we become frustrated when it appears their attention isn’t solely on us or the conversation at hand.  Yet we seem to find it’s perfectly acceptable to discuss things with them while reading the paper, folding clothes, or working on the computer and then are often left wondering when the lines of communication broke.

Children are by nature easily distracted and not always responsive to their environment. It is the responsibility of the parent to emphasize positive patterns of communication and ensure the child learns that ignoring communication is not acceptable. Early prevention, in the form of educating your child about the proper forms of communication, is the key to ensuring that the non-verbal agreement does not take hold.  Teach your child by example.  Remain completely and totally focused on them and the conversation at hand.  Turn off the television; allow calls to go to the voicemail, or go in a room where there are no distractions.

Talk to your child, and explain to them in age-appropriate terms how they are communicating and why their method doesn’t work.  Show your child how to communicate effectively, even when the questions are hard.

Make yourself an active listener.  Let them voice their opinion or side of the story and ask questions to ensure you understand their viewpoint.

Be constant in the manner in which you communicate with you child. Send the same message with each and every interaction. Allow your child to see that you will call their attention to those times that the unwanted behavior rears its ugly head.

Kids will be kids and they will sometimes be distractive and non-communicative. You are the expert in knowing your child’s behavior and can best judge the improvement in their communications. The best way to ensure healthy communication patterns is to model positive communication skills.