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, games

10 fun indoor games and activities for kids

via 10 fun indoor games and activities for kids

10 fun indoor games and activities for kids

Children play not only for fun, but it also helps them to develop their individuality and recognize the world. During autumn or winter when it’s rainy, snowy outside adults had to entertain kids through indoor activities. We’ve put together a list of 10 enjoyable indoor game ideas to do with kids at home.

1. Freeze Dance

Kindergarten

Choose some of your kids’ favorite tunes and turn up the volume. Ask them to dance until the music stops. When it does, they have to freeze in whatever position they find themselves in – even if they have one leg up. To make the game more challenging, ask the kids to freeze in specific poses: animals, shapes, letters or do 10 jumping jacks during the start of the next round and then rejoin the dance. Toddlers in particular love this game.

2. Balance beam

d0aa78a2a4449e108dc508ecd7830559We all know how much kids love walking in straight lines every chance they get. Turn on some music, and one at a time the kids can take their turn walking one-foot-over-the-other across the straight line of tape. Make the game more challenging by having the kids walk backwards or balance with one foot on the line.

3. Pen and pencil games

740x3362

Here are a few pen and pencil games that you can play at home with children.

  • Tic-tac-toe is a paper-and-pencil game for two players, X and O, who take turns marking the spaces in a 3×3 grid. The player who succeeds in placing three of their marks in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row wins the game.
  • Join the dots: Make a 6×6 square of dots on a page. Take turns to join dots with a line. You can join only two dots at a time. If your line completes a box, you put your initial inside it. The person with the highest number of boxes wins. Once the child gets the hang of the game, move to a bigger square.

4. Hot Potato

hot-potato-game-1

This game will have everyone giggling. Ask the kids to sit on the floor in a circle. Turn on some tunes and have them pass the potato (a bean bag or soft ball) around the circle as fast as they can. When the music stops, the player holding the potato leaves the circle. Keep going until only one player is left and wins the game.

5. Obstacle course

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Create a furniture course in your apartment or take chalk and make a course outside. Add in specific mental or physical challenges to keep them guessing.

Example:

  • Crawl under or over a row of chairs.
  • Crawl under a string stretched between two chair legs.
  • Jump into and out of a Hula-Hoop five times.
  • Walk on a balance board.
  • Throw a beanbag into a laundry basket.
  • Run while balancing a beanbag on your head.
  • Do a ring toss.
  • Ride a tricycle along a predetermined route.
  • Somersault from one point to another.
  • Do a handstand.
  • Skip in place while reciting a jump rope rhyme.

6. Balloon ball

shining-design-kid-party-game-ideas-50-easy-birthday-games-for-kids-no-stress-planning

There are endless ways to play with balloons indoors.

  • Balloon Hockey: Make a hockey stick using the full instructions found here. Set up two goals on opposite sides of the room and have each child try to get the balloon into their goal by hitting it with their hockey stick. Pick a number of goals to reach or set a timer and see who gets the most points in that time frame to determine a winner.
  • Baloon Ping Pong: Securely tape the stick to the back of the paper plate to form a racket. Blow up the balloon and put a tape line on the ground to serve as a net. To play a formal game, let your kids hit the balloon back and forth across the “net.” They may only hit it one time to get it across and if they miss or the balloon touches the ground, the other person scores a point. The first person to score 15 points wins. To play for fun, just let them hit the ball back and forth with their rackets — no score keeping necessary.
  • Balloon Catch: Blow up one balloon per player. Each player tosses his or her balloon in the air and then must catch it in the mouth of their funnel, and then toss it in air again and catch it again, all without using their free hand. Each catch is worth 1 point. If the player uses their free hand or the balloon touches the ground, they start over at zero. The first player to get to 10 — or 20 or 100 — wins! The game may be modified to be easier for younger players. For instance, they get a certain amount of touches before losing their points or they can use both hands.

7.  Bake or decorate

cooking-with-kids-1

Kids love spending time with parents in the kitchen. Think simple techniques, short ingredient lists and satisfying dishes that children will be proud to eat—because they’re the head chef. Bake without losing your sanity or buy pre-made frosting (and even cupcakes) and set up a cupcake decorating station with whatever candies, nuts, and sprinkles you have on hand.

8. Puzzles

GettyImages-138710378web-56f9e4f25f9b582986706ea3

When you cannot step out, pick up a few puzzles that you can work on all day.

Picture puzzles, but these won’t keep you busy for long unless there are more than 25 pieces in it.
A picture puzzle book can be a great idea, given that you can work on one puzzle after another to keep the child engaged.
Word puzzles are a great option if you want to improve your child’s vocabulary.
3D puzzles toys are good for younger children.

9. Pillow fight—’nuff said.

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A pillow fight is a common game mostly played by young children (but also by teens and adults) in which they engage in mock physical conflict, using pillows as weapons.

10. Treasure hunt

Pirate-box

Kids love finding hidden objects — especially when there’s a prize at the end. Simply write your clues on some slips of paper — get creative. Place the first clue somewhere easy to find, like inside your child’s snack or cereal bowl. Then leave as many clues as you like around the house, making a trail to the final clue. Instead of a prize, the treasure hunt can lead to various coins around the house. This way the kids get to collect all the coins and put them in their piggy banks in the end.

Have fun!

child development, healthy food, Relationships

The Family that Eats Together Stays Healthy Together

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Recent studies have shown that not only do children like to sit down at the dinner table and eat a meal with their parents, but they are more likely to eat a well-balanced, nutritious meal when they do.  But with the hectic lives we seem to lead these days, getting the family all together in the same place at the same time can be a difficult chore. Between work schedules, after-school activities, errands, and the like, it seems we have less and less time.   But with a few simple ideas and some planning, meal time can be an enjoyable and treasured family time.

Designate no less than one night per week to have a sit-down meal with your family.  Sunday nights are usually a good choice for this because you have more time to relax and the weekend chores have been completed. 

Involve your children in the meal planning and preparation.  This gives them a strong sense of self and the foundation for a lifetime of healthy meal planning and preparation.

Make sure the television is off, and make it a rule that all phone calls go to voice mail or the answering machine during the meal.  Take this time to visit with one another and enjoy one another’s company.  This is a great time to reconnect and find out what events happened this week.  Take your time eating, and teach your children how to do the same in the process.  Eating slowly is a healthy habit.  Don’t jump up and start clearing dishes and putting things away until everyone is done eating and talking.

On those days that you can’t sit down as a family, try to make a habit of sitting down and chatting with them while they are eating, instead of rushing around catching up on the chores.  This shows them you’re interested and that you care and want to be and involved and important part of their every day life.


 

how to effectively breastfeed babiesGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu

child development, games

10 fun indoor games and activities for kids

Children play not only for fun, but it also helps them to develop their individuality and recognize the world. During autumn or winter when it’s rainy, snowy outside adults had to entertain kids through indoor activities. We’ve put together a list of 10 enjoyable indoor game ideas to do with kids at home.

1. Freeze Dance

Kindergarten

Choose some of your kids’ favorite tunes and turn up the volume. Ask them to dance until the music stops. When it does, they have to freeze in whatever position they find themselves in – even if they have one leg up. To make the game more challenging, ask the kids to freeze in specific poses: animals, shapes, letters or do 10 jumping jacks during the start of the next round and then rejoin the dance. Toddlers in particular love this game.

2. Balance beam

d0aa78a2a4449e108dc508ecd7830559We all know how much kids love walking in straight lines every chance they get. Turn on some music, and one at a time the kids can take their turn walking one-foot-over-the-other across the straight line of tape. Make the game more challenging by having the kids walk backwards or balance with one foot on the line.

3. Pen and pencil games

740x3362

Here are a few pen and pencil games that you can play at home with children.

  • Tic-tac-toe is a paper-and-pencil game for two players, X and O, who take turns marking the spaces in a 3×3 grid. The player who succeeds in placing three of their marks in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row wins the game.
  • Join the dots: Make a 6×6 square of dots on a page. Take turns to join dots with a line. You can join only two dots at a time. If your line completes a box, you put your initial inside it. The person with the highest number of boxes wins. Once the child gets the hang of the game, move to a bigger square.

4. Hot Potato

hot-potato-game-1

This game will have everyone giggling. Ask the kids to sit on the floor in a circle. Turn on some tunes and have them pass the potato (a bean bag or soft ball) around the circle as fast as they can. When the music stops, the player holding the potato leaves the circle. Keep going until only one player is left and wins the game.

5. Obstacle course

20151018_string01

Create a furniture course in your apartment or take chalk and make a course outside. Add in specific mental or physical challenges to keep them guessing.

Example:

  • Crawl under or over a row of chairs.
  • Crawl under a string stretched between two chair legs.
  • Jump into and out of a Hula-Hoop five times.
  • Walk on a balance board.
  • Throw a beanbag into a laundry basket.
  • Run while balancing a beanbag on your head.
  • Do a ring toss.
  • Ride a tricycle along a predetermined route.
  • Somersault from one point to another.
  • Do a handstand.
  • Skip in place while reciting a jump rope rhyme.

6. Balloon ball

shining-design-kid-party-game-ideas-50-easy-birthday-games-for-kids-no-stress-planning

There are endless ways to play with balloons indoors.

  • Balloon Hockey: Make a hockey stick using the full instructions found here. Set up two goals on opposite sides of the room and have each child try to get the balloon into their goal by hitting it with their hockey stick. Pick a number of goals to reach or set a timer and see who gets the most points in that time frame to determine a winner.
  • Baloon Ping Pong: Securely tape the stick to the back of the paper plate to form a racket. Blow up the balloon and put a tape line on the ground to serve as a net. To play a formal game, let your kids hit the balloon back and forth across the “net.” They may only hit it one time to get it across and if they miss or the balloon touches the ground, the other person scores a point. The first person to score 15 points wins. To play for fun, just let them hit the ball back and forth with their rackets — no score keeping necessary.
  • Balloon Catch: Blow up one balloon per player. Each player tosses his or her balloon in the air and then must catch it in the mouth of their funnel, and then toss it in air again and catch it again, all without using their free hand. Each catch is worth 1 point. If the player uses their free hand or the balloon touches the ground, they start over at zero. The first player to get to 10 — or 20 or 100 — wins! The game may be modified to be easier for younger players. For instance, they get a certain amount of touches before losing their points or they can use both hands.

7.  Bake or decorate

cooking-with-kids-1

Kids love spending time with parents in the kitchen. Think simple techniques, short ingredient lists and satisfying dishes that children will be proud to eat—because they’re the head chef. Bake without losing your sanity or buy pre-made frosting (and even cupcakes) and set up a cupcake decorating station with whatever candies, nuts, and sprinkles you have on hand.

8. Puzzles

GettyImages-138710378web-56f9e4f25f9b582986706ea3

When you cannot step out, pick up a few puzzles that you can work on all day.

Picture puzzles, but these won’t keep you busy for long unless there are more than 25 pieces in it.
A picture puzzle book can be a great idea, given that you can work on one puzzle after another to keep the child engaged.
Word puzzles are a great option if you want to improve your child’s vocabulary.
3D puzzles toys are good for younger children.

9. Pillow fight—’nuff said.

761699b00fc2c4c89e4301f9c656efed

A pillow fight is a common game mostly played by young children (but also by teens and adults) in which they engage in mock physical conflict, using pillows as weapons.

10. Treasure hunt

Pirate-box

Kids love finding hidden objects — especially when there’s a prize at the end. Simply write your clues on some slips of paper — get creative. Place the first clue somewhere easy to find, like inside your child’s snack or cereal bowl. Then leave as many clues as you like around the house, making a trail to the final clue. Instead of a prize, the treasure hunt can lead to various coins around the house. This way the kids get to collect all the coins and put them in their piggy banks in the end.

Have fun!