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!


 

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

child development, Child's Education, Relationships

Teach your Child to Give Respect and They’ll Gain Respect in Return

grandparents-kids

One of the most important things you can teach your child is respect and the best way to teach respect is to show respect. When a child experiences respect, they know what it feels like and begin to understand how important it is.

Keep in mind the saying “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Respect is an attitude. Being respectful helps a child succeed in life. If children don’t have respect for peers, authority, or themselves, it’s almost impossible for them to succeed. A respectful child takes care of belongings and responsibilities, and a respectful child gets along with peers.

Schools teach children about respect, but parents have the most influence on how respectful children become. Until children show respect at home, it’s unlikely they will show it anywhere else.

How can you show respect to your child?  If you do something wrong, admit it and apologize.  Don’t embarrass, insult or make fun of your child. Compliment them and let your child make choices and take responsibility. Listen to your child’s side of the story before making a decision on an issue or problem.  Be polite and use “please” and “thank you” when asking them to do things. Knock before entering your child’s room. Keep promises. Show your child that you mean what you say. And give your child your full attention.

And most important, teach your children that respect is earned. Make sure that you are leading by example and modeling respectful behavior. Be a law-abiding citizen. Show concern for your environment, animals and other people.  Openly and honestly discuss exampled of witnessed disrespect.

In addition, teach your child to respect themselves. Self-respect is one of the most important forms of respect. Once we respect ourselves, it is easier to respect others.

Help them set and achieve goals. Encourage honesty and teach them that people make mistakes, and that they are the best way to learn.

Most importantly, praise your child often for good deeds, behaviors or traits, and tell them you love them at least several times each day. You’re sure to raise a child capable of giving and gaining respect.


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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Take the Bite out of your Toddler’s Biting Problem

Mother with her daughter

The majority of toddlers engage in some biting between their first and third birthdays. Probably the most common reason is that it is one of the few ways of communicating that’s effective for them, before verbal skills are developed. However, not all children bite. Some choose other forms of communication, such as grabbing, shoving, or punching.

Another reason toddlers bite is to express frustration, a feeling which is very common with toddlers, because both their communication skills and their motor skills are so limited.

To a young toddler it can be funny to see mommy suddenly bolt upright or for a playmate to start crying. Toddlers may also bite because they’re teething or because they put everything in their mouths anyway, so why not someone’s arm? It could even be something as simple as hunger.

But how do you teach your child not to bite?

Make it perfectly clear that the biting is hurtful and wrong and point out to your child how much pain their biting has caused.  Express that biting is wrong and unacceptable and that neither mommy or daddy like it. 

If you discover that your child is biting out of frustration, try giving them an alternative to express to people they are having a difficult time.  Though language is a difficult task at this age, most toddlers can be taught words that are appropriate for such a situation.  For instance, “You need to tell mommy or daddy that you need help and not bite us,” or “Show mommy what you need, but don’t bite.  You’ll hurt her if you bite and I know you don’t want to hurt mommy, do you?”

Experts agree that parents should try not to give biting so much attention that it becomes an attention-getter. This is true of all behavior that you don’t want to see repeated.  Firmly tell the child again that there is no biting allowed, that it is wrong, and that it hurts people.