When they are tiny, they can do no wrong. Then they hit the terrible twos, and you figure you just have to wait it out until the phase passes and they return to human form.
But if, despite your best effort, your child’s behaviour hasn’t improved by the time they reach primary school, you might be wondering if you are doing something wrong.
Young Minds is a great online resource for parents who are worried about their child or teen’s behaviour and emotional wellbeing.
Their mission is:
- To improve life chances for children and young people at risk of and experiencing difficulties with mental and emotional health
- To achieve better outcomes for parents and families who engage with children’s mental health services
- To promote the good mental health and emotional wellbeing of all children
Parents who are worried about their child’s emotional wellbeing or behaviour can find information and advice on everything from friendship problems and exam stress to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia, either through the website and publications, or via the parents’ telephone helpline.
There is also a section designed for young people to read directly, offering advice on how to cope with feelings, where to get help and advice, and what to do if they are unhappy with their treatment.
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Here’s my theory; start children with chores early in an effort to ingrain the behaviour, which will result in less negotiation and arguing as they grow older.( I’m feeling quite clever just about now.)
If chores become a routine then they also register as non-negotiable in your child’s psyche. I’d rather take the time correcting my three-year-old’s attitude to helping out than battle it out with a thirteen-year-old who has never done a chore in her life. Thanks.
The idea is to start your little one’s off with chores that are age-friendly, so washing the car and making dinner are probably out – darn!; although you could get your toddler to help with both. Some good chores for toddlers ideas:
- Clean-up after playtime: probably the most obvious chore is to pick up toys and books after they have been played with. My general rule is that my daughter cannot start a new activity until she has tidied up the one that she has just been busy with.
- Picking up dirty clothes off the floor and putting them in the wash-basket.
- If your toddler spills or messes, get her to clean it up (you’ll probably need to help). Surprisingly, my daughter loves cleaning and wiping, so much so that sometimes I think she spills things in order to clean them.
- Taking his/her plate, cup etc. to the sink after a meal.
- Helping with the family pet, in whatever capacity you deem appropriate. My daughter helps her dad feed the fish.
- Setting the table.
- Unpacking and packing away the groceries.
- Making his/her bed. I have yet to try this with my three-year-old. I like the idea but not the effort. That said; it would be an amazing habit to initiate at a young age.
- Washing dishes. This may sound a bit far-fetched but if you give your toddler a sponge and get her to stand next to you while you wash, I bet she’ll enjoy helping.
- Picking used towels up off the floor. My mum’s pet peeve was that her three children left wet towels on the bathroom floor. It drove her nuts. So in honour of my mum, I ask my daughter to hang up her wet bath towel (with a little help from me).
Whatever chores for toddlers you decide to initiate, be prepared for the fact that your child may not like it. You may, however, be surprised to learn that your wee one does quite like to help; helping gives children a sense of responsibility and achievement.
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So, in the blink of an eye, Christmas has come and gone. The tree’s down, the decorations packed away, the presents unwrapped and the food eaten. The party’s over… but that doesn’t mean that the gift giving has stopped. Anyone who’s a parent will have presents to buy – birthdays are galore when one has children… with friends!
If you’re like me, you spent a good portion of November/December racking your brain for amazing gift ideas for your children. There is just so much to choose from that deciding on The.Perfect.Gift is not all that easy. To make life a little less complicated for you in the new year; here’s a list compiled by Safestore and YouGov, profiling the top most treasured presents ever received, that can be used as toy tips for 2013:
- A teddy bear or cuddly toy (28%)
- A bike, rollerblades, scooter, skateboard or BMX (23%)
- A board game or jigsaw (20%)
- Lego and Duplo (17%)
- A doll (17%)
- Scalextric or train set (17%)
- An electrical device such as a Walkman, first mobile or PC (13%)
- A game console such as a Wii or Gameboy or computer games (12%)
- An action figure such as Action Man (9%)
- A collectible figure set such as Care Bears, Star Wars or My Little Pony (9%)
- A doll’s house (9%)
Two of my most favourite childhood gifts appear on the list: a doll’s house that my dad made for me and teddies (any and all).
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New research shows that renaming fruit and veg with ‘cooler names’ will encourage children to eat fruit and vegetables. The study was conducted in the US at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, and aimed to find a cheap solution to improving children’s diets.
Here’s how it went down (in a nutshell):
Five schools were roped into participating. Children at the schools were offered foods dubbed “X-Ray Vision carrots”, “Power Punch Broccoli”, “Tiny Tasty Tree Tops” and “Silly Dilly Green Beans” OR merely “Food of the Day”. And an overwhelming majority of the children ate the foods with the cool names.
I can pretty much guarantee that most mums have been aware of the aforementioned insight for a long time. But it’s always nice to have research back us up.
I recently read an interesting stat that said that busy mums lie an average of twenty times a day; I’m sure that the ‘carrots make you see in the dark’ line must fit in there somewhere.
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Most children are not big fans of the whole teeth brushing thing – it’s boring, interruptive and annoying. Even as an adult I bear the same child-like sentiment about brushing my teeth but my detestation is accompanied with the grown-up logic that says that I do not want rotten teeth, gum disease and bad breath, so I do the chore with a brusher’s smile on my face.
The fact is, we know brushing teeth is necessary and we’re desperate to get out children to do it.
Here are some ideas to help children to brush their teeth:
- A reward chart is often a really good way to incentivise children to good behaviour and chore completion. Whether it’s stars, stickers or points that run the chart, reward your child for doing a good job. Continue reading →