The Growth and Giggles Blog

Ideas for helping parents and their preschoolers.

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Growing Families: Avoiding Sibling Rivalry Working toward avoiding sibling rivalry is really teaching a life skill. As your family grows, there are ways to prepare older children for the arrival of the newest addition and to get them through the toddler years when baby becomes a little explorer. It is important to be truthful when preparing the older sibling for the arrival of a younger sibling. Try to avoid saying something that would be confusing like, "the baby will be so much fun to play with!" The baby won't be playing with anyone for a while. More helpful things to say might be, "We will need to be gentle with the baby's tiny little hands. I could use your help at bathtime. Would you like to wash her feet?" When baby comes, teach the older child how to hold the baby explaining how to support the head. Sit with them and read a story together.  The older...
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How to Help your Preschooler Deal with Irrational Fears Three-year-old Jonathan would not go anywhere without wearing a hat. He called it his “helmet.” One day, Kirby and Jonathan were out walking in the woods, and Jonathan realized that he had forgotten his helmet. He started to get panicky. Kirby quickly offered him the knit hat she was wearing because of the cold, and he calmed down. After a while, Kirby asked him, “How do you like wearing my helmet?” Jonathan replied, “I like it. It keeps me from falling down.” “How does it do that?” asked Kirby. “Just fine,” answered Jonathan. Later, Kirby was able to figure out that Jonathan had observed his dad wearing a bike helmet, and had asked him why he wore it. His dad told him that it kept him safe. Jonathan interpreted that to mean that the helmet kept his dad from falling down while biking. Don’t you wish we could crawl into our...
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How to Help Your Distractible Child Follow Directions Does this sound familiar?    “Evan, put on your pajamas.”    “Take off your pants and put on your pajamas.”    “Evan, put down your LeapReader and put on your pajamas!”    “Evan, what are you supposed to be doing right now?”    “I don’t know.” Preschoolers, and even many elementary schoolers, are highly distractible, and that can make it hard for them to follow your directions in a prompt manner. This can be frustrating for parents, who just want their kids to do what they ask! Here are some strategies for working with a distractible child to maximize cooperation. Give a heads up. A few minutes before you want an instruction carried out, let your child know what’s coming. Say, “In five minutes, when the timer goes off, it will be time to stop what you’re doing and get your pajamas on.” This is especially true if your child is...
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I Can Do It: Preschoolers and the Drive for Autonomy One of the main tasks of the toddler and preschool years is developing autonomy. This can be a great inconvenience to parents, who know that, for example, getting out the door would happen much faster if three-year-old Trevor didn't insist on dressing himself when he can't do the buttons, tying his own shoes when he doesn't know how, or struggling into his jacket without help…backwards. One of your jobs, as a parent, is to facilitate the emerging autonomy of your children. This doesn't mean suddenly abandoning your child to the mercy of his shoelaces, but it does mean supporting your child's drive to learn to do things himself. You can survive your child's growing autonomy by: 1. Planning ahead. Supporting fledgling independence means planning for more time to get out the door, allowing for tasks to be accomplished more slowly because of the "help" of your little apprentice, and taking care...
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