The Growth and Giggles Blog

Ideas for helping parents and their preschoolers.

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

Looking for ways to involve your children in the holiday festivities? The holidays can give family a wonderful opportunity to share the deeper meaning behind these celebrations, whether it’s the birth of Christ at Christmas or the miracle of the light at Hanukkah. Hopefully the activities we introduce you to today can help get your kids to think beyond what they are receiving and get to a better perspective: this is a time to give gifts of love, which is a huge part of many holiday traditions. Act It Out Act out the story of the holiday using a set of unbreakable figurines such as a nativity set or menorah. Make sure every child has a part to play. One of the adults can read the story while the others act it out. This can be as long or short as you deem necessary depending on the age and attention span of the children. It is important that the children be involved...

Posted by on in Parenting
Happy Fingers at the Holidays Anyone else having trouble getting your toddlers to not touch holiday breakables, power cords, Christmas trees and the like? Small children (under 3 years old) don’t know their own strength. And they often drop things. But, as we all know, if such things break they could cut them. This becomes a safety issue. How can we protect our wee ones? Here are some very practical suggestions. The first step is to move things up beyond the reach of the child. This changes when a crawler becomes a walker, who then becomes a climber. So get things out of reach and keep them out of reach. Second, if you can’t get the item up higher, try blocking it with something else such as furniture. It needs to be something big enough that the breakable item is out of sight. It is important to note that children who have reached full object permanence...
Teaching a tired and hungry child is like trying to get a toad to smile. Depending on our personality and energy level, we parents often stack the calendar to run the errands all at once. However, with young children in tow this can backfire and have knock-on effects. (Though remember, all children are different.) Their mood can change as quickly as a faucet turns on or off. A meltdown often comes without warning. Sometimes, though, there are tell-tale signs in their body language. The key is to stop before they crash, and the key to that is to know your child. Know when your child’s energy is gone, or nearly gone. Some children’s metabolism may need a regular snack to keep them going. It is highly recommended to have some healthy snacks on hand wherever you go. When you are aware of your child’s needs, you will be able to pull out some raisins or pretzels in the car, or some cheese or “fairy sandwiches” at...

Posted by on in Parenting
A Healthy Way To Affirm Today’s post is a follow-up to last week's article on If you want your children to grow as they should, give less attention for bad, point out the good. As Kirby was reading George MacDonald’s book The Lost Princess this week, a few things came to mind about pointing out the good in our children. In fact, she would highly recommend the book as it brings to light the importance of humility as well as distinguishing between self-esteem and conceit. So today we’ll be mentioning a few take-aways she had as a child-development specialist reflecting on that story. Point Out the Good First of all, when pointing out the good in our children, we need to be sure we point out what is true. If a little one is experimenting with art, we might be tempted to say, “This is the best art I’ve ever seen!” But that is most likely...
If You Want Your Children To Grow As They Should... If you want your children to grow as they should, give less attention for bad and point out the good. It’s a simple fact: children do more of whatever they get attention for. This means that if it’s throwing a tantrum, or shouting, or whatever other behavior you want them to change, give less attention to it. And it means that if you point out their good behavior – whether a positive attitude, or listening well, or whatever other behavior you want them to continue – they will most likely increase the frequency of that behavior. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” There is power in our words. The quote above is a somewhat familiar saying from the Bible (Ephesians 4:29) that reminds us of the importance of...
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