The Growth and Giggles Blog

Ideas for helping parents and their preschoolers.

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Parenting

Thoughts and reflections on being a parent--the struggles, the joys, and the inner game of parenting.

Posted by on in Parenting
Enjoy Your Children! Kirby reminisces fondly about her mom being the only parent who got out and played with the neighborhood kids. Kirby followed in her footsteps. The kids noticed. "You like being with us!"  Outdoor play can be for parents and children. It's really important to play outside with kids, not just to send them out and invite neighborhood kids over. Their development will leap ahead -- socially, cognitively, physically, relationally (especially toward the parent playing with them). But you may not have had an experience like Kirby's. And if you have not seen it modeled, you may not be able to picture it. Children love adult attention. They feel important. Their self-esteem and self-worth rises. The advantages of this are: The adult is present to speak into how to work out differences between the kids. (There is an aspect of social development here, thinking of ways to compromise.) Much less bullying or...
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Posted by on in Parenting
Helping Children with Fear A Rule of Thumb: Take children's fear as a very real event for them, even if what they are afraid of doesn't exist (e.g. a monster under the bed). A monster may not be real; but the fear is. In looking at the brain developing according to age, a preschooler does not have the logic of an adult. Therefore, using logic to talk them out of their fears will not work. This is where compassion and comfort come in. For instance, in the scenario of walking across a slotted bridge with narrow cracks, as long as a child can see through the cracks, they think they will fall through. (Some children may be oblivious to this.) An appropriate response when the child is afraid would be to pick them up and carry them, not try to reason with them about the slots. In very non-scientific terms, this is what happens when...
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Posted by on in Parenting
Parents' Emergency Box What are the times when your child seems to desperately need you? Are you on the phone, cooking dinner, talking to a friend?  When they want your attention when you are concentrating on something else -- when you need space and they are coming up with intriguing ways to get your attention -- these are the times you will want your "Emergency Box." An Emergency Box is a place you can put things that children can do without a lot of supervision. When you have the energy (this is early in the morning for Kirby), stock your Emergency Box. This can be a shoe box, a pretty box, etc. It may be you emergency box, but call it an "Surprise Box" or something else exciting for your child. Give it a label you and they like.  Fill it with games and have it at the ready. Here are some things that...
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Posted by on in Parenting
Travelling with Littles Travelling with children can be a special time, even on a road trip! The kids have the potential to triple their vocabulary on a week-long car trip if that's what is chosen to work on. Relationships among family members can improve with interactive car games. Whether infant, toddler, or early elementary, littles can have fun and leap ahead in cognitive development and fine motor skills while en route to your holiday destination. While technology is a very handy tool to have when travelling, make sure your children are not on their devices the whole travel time. Pack a backpack/travel bag per child that they may fill with their travel treasures. Elementary age children can usually make independent choices on what to leave and what is important to bring. This may include dolls (with add-ins of ribbons, pieces of fabric, etc.) that would be useful for making up stories so be sure...
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Posted by on in Parenting
Magic Listening Mist Materials:      Spray Bottle (the more whimsical, the better) Water + drop of mint oil or mouthwash   Anytime children need to be focused and giving attention one can whip out some Magic Listening Mist! This is a simple tool, easy to make, and very easy to apply. As used by some kindergarten teachers, spraying a little scented mist into the air at the appropriate time can be a way of triggering little imaginations and therefore producing more attention. Beware of overuse or use when not needed as some of the magic slips away under these circumstances. However, when instructions are being given for the next task at hand, this little item can be very useful. Notice the scent added to the water? We often do things with the other senses while leaving out smell. It is very powerful and another gateway to the brain! The aroma of mint can...
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