Archive for the ‘Choices’ Category

Treating people of all races and backgrounds honorably is not just politically correct, it is the right thing to do, the respectful thing.

When my 4-year-old son, David, started flipping out about going to preschool, I thought it was typical first day jitters. Then he told me the reason: I do not want a teacher with brown skin. Our family who is white and live in a diverse neighborhood in Northwest Indiana. I must admit I was a bit horrified and confused. He had been around people of many races before. Our neighbor who had babysat for David before when he was a toddler is African American. But his new teacher whom he had met before at the school orientation was from Africa, so I think it had more to do with her accent. Concerned I turned to a psychologist who was also a family friend. I was reassured that little David was not being a racist.

It is natural for young kids to notice differences in a person’s appearance and manner of speaking, and to express curiosity or even fear about them. Many of us can probably share a comparably mortifying moment, whether it was our kid’s insensitive comment about someone in a wheelchair or an objectionable question about why a classmate of Asian descent has “squinty” eyes. In our upcoming posts we will share some steps with you that you can take to teach your child how to be open minded. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Of course, your child is running around half-naked these days, but do not forget to work on the dressing skills that will be critical in the classroom. A 3-year-old should be able to pull up their own pants after going to the bathroom, Velcro their shoes, place an object into their backpack, and put on their own coat. Although, it is OK di they need help with buttoning and zipping. Not only do kids feel pride when they master these tasks, but it encourages their independence and helps them learn to be organized. Be mindful not to ask your child to accomplish too much at once or you may risk overwhelming them. It is as simple as breaking everything down into one manageable task at a time. Check out our previous post on creating transitions. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Self Help

 

 

It is one thing for your child to tell you that he wants a snack or needs to go to the bathroom. It is completely another thing for him to communicate that with his teacher while 20 other kids are running around having fun. Try some role playing situations that will come up during the school day with your child. You want your child to feel comfortable saying, “I have to go to the potty, or I need help.” It is also important for your little one to learn to express his feelings. If he can say, “I am frustrated because… or I am angry because…” that is much better than hitting or biting a classmate. Check out another post on getting your child ready for school. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Speaking Up

 

If you suspect that your child has stolen something (or if they are caught red handed), you should rehash why stealing is wrong and help them see it from the other person’s perspective. “How would you feel if David stole your coloring book?” Go light on the talk of police involvement or breaking the law. These scare tactics can stop your child from being honest about their misbehaviors and can cause them to fear police officers rather than viewing them as helpers in an emergency situation.

Instead, you should right the wrong. Help your child apologize and return the item to its rightful owner. If it is not returnable (as in the case of my niece, who was already munching on the cookie), pay for it and make your child do an extra set of chores to pay you back. If you have already left the store or find an item at home, take it back (if possible) and follow through with consequences that fit the crime. For example, if your kid steals a toy, they might have to donate one of their own to an organization that helps needy children. Repeated thievery or other troubling behavior may require help from a therapist. Fortunately, most kids who take something once or twice and face real life consequences (having to apologize, angering a friend, disappointing parents) do not steal again. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Offenses

Kids may pick up something because they are afraid to ask for it. They do not know what to say or they think the response will be a no. Focus on helping your child learn how to ask permission and practice it with them. You might guide them through asking a friend to borrow a bookmark, for instance, or asking a teacher if they can have a sticker. Praise them when they do the right thing in their daily activities. “Jenna, I appreciate that you asked for the crayons before taking them.” Explain to them that requesting permission does not automatically mean that they will get what they want all the time. The person may just say no. Discuss other ways that they could get what they want, for example, adding it to a birthday wish list, or doing some extra chores around the house to earn it. If they know there are other ways to get sunglasses, they may be less likely to swipe those that belong to a friend. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Stealing

I am sure that you have already discussed the topic before, but now is a good time for a bit of a refresher course. Rather than bringing up stealing randomly and making your child think that they are in trouble, get the conversation started by reading a children’s book together like Ricky Sticky Fingers, by Julia Cook, or watching a movie together like Despicable Me. Then ask your child what they think about the behavior of the characters. Remind them what stealing is, Stealing is taking something that belongs to someone else without asking permission. And also let them know why it is wrong. Stealing makes the other person feel sad. It may help if you give a specific example of stealing. Tell them that taking a toy car from the store without paying for it is stealing. Then see if your child can determine if certain scenarios, like putting the teacher’s pen in their backpack, borrowing a book from the library, or taking papers from Dad’s briefcase are considered stealing as well. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Stealing

A child’s whiny requests can wear any parent out by the end of the day. So why does your child whine or throw things or kick you? From their perspective, it works. Whining is a super effective way for an attention loving toddler. It gets you to turn around and focus on what they are saying. If you ignored their 3 previous requests to be held while you were cooking dinner, they neither understand nor cares. They resort to whining because it simply put gets you to respond. Toddlers also do not care whether they get attention for good or bad behavior. Kids will even have seizures or muscle spasms and even eye rolling or head shaking. This is just simply an action that they found to get a parents’ attention. This is what they love, so they keep doing it. When your child misbehaves, try your best to ignore them unless they are in danger or hurting someone else. If you can not blow it off,  move them away from the situation or cause a distraction. This will send a powerful message that you are not going to just respond to negative behavior. Just be careful not to reward bad behavior. For instance, if your child is interrupting you while you are on the phone and you hang up to deal with their behavior, they have gotten exactly what they wanted. Try to predict their need for attention and look for opportunities to encourage her cooperation. You just might be able to fit in a 3-minute phone call if you give your toddler a few reassuring words and kisses while you are on the phone.

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Attention-Seeking