The Growth and Giggles Blog

Ideas for helping parents and their preschoolers.

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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Discipline

Posted by on in Parenting
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There are a number of helpful rhymes that Kirby, our resident expert, has come up with to aid us in remembering key concepts of child-rearing and development. We’ll be covering a few of them in the weeks ahead and will start off with this clever ditty:   After a recent move from the United Kingdom to the United States, my eight year old has taken to labeling herself as a “tomboy”. I’m not really sure what she means by it. I observe that she doesn’t enjoy sports as much as I did when I was a child. However, she has switched out her skirts for shorts or pants to fit in more with the culture around her. When does a stereotype become a type of who we are and what we do? When does a certain pattern of choices or certain actions begin to define our identity? These are important questions...
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Getting Preschoolers to Cooperate: A Tiny Change for Big Results Do you have trouble getting your preschooler to cooperate? (That was a joke…of course you do—they’re preschoolers!) One simple change you can make--without much effort, without discussing parenting philosophy with your spouse, without brainstorming rewards or meting out punishments— can make a significant change in how cooperative your preschooler becomes. And don’t tell, but it will probably work on the adults in your life, too. Let me show you the idea, starting with a personal example. I grocery shop once a week, and I go with a detailed list, which usually doesn’t include ice cream. But every week, as I walk through the coffee and tea section, I know I am coming up on “the aisle of temptation.” At this point, I might say to myself, “Don’t go down the ice cream aisle!” At which point, I involuntarily start picturing cold, sweet, chocolatey goodness melting around my tongue. My other option...
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Teach Your Preschooler to Tell the Truth Josie’s (age 3) parents had been trying to teach her not to lie. They had been talking with her about lying, giving consequences for lying, and making a concerted effort to stop the behavior. One day Josie accidentally knocked over her milk. She quickly started cleaning it up, and said to her mother, “I don’t know if this is a lie or not, but I spilled my milk.” Josie knew that a lie was something she shouldn’t do…but she didn’t understand what it was. Lying is a lot more complicated of a concept than adults tend to think. And even once a preschooler really understands the concept of true and not true, their brains aren’t mature enough to always get it right. Of course, we can still work with preschoolers to teach them to be honest. It’s just that it’s important to take a gentle teaching approach that is appropriate for...
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Posted by on in Discipline
The Toys Are Being Mean! “My son (2.5) is finally into imaginative play. However, the characters aren't always nice to each other. They say things like "you're not my friend". Sometimes they are really bad and get put into the corner. Do I intervene when the characters are being mean and saying things I wouldn't let my son say?” Sometimes our sweet babies come out with words and behaviors that we haven’t taught them. It can be upsetting, and we wonder, “Do I need to nip this in the bud? Or should play be correction-free territory?” Preschoolers like to “try on” words and actions that they have observed—whether from siblings, preschool, the playground, or tv. Imaginative play can be a safe place to do this experimentation. It doesn’t mean they’ve internalized the behaviors, or that they’ll start talking like that all the time. So, the first thing to do is to keep watching over the course...
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Posted by on in Uncategorized
Dealing with Bickering Few things can grate on a mom’s nerves like constant fighting. You want your kids to be best friends with each other, to play well together, and to love each other, but you may be at a loss as to how to deal with the inevitable bickering. The first step to dealing with a fight is to help your kids calm down. When emotions are running high, kids are not capable of problem solving. You may need to separate the children, not as a punishment, but as a break to help each one regain some equilibrium. Do you know what calms your children down? Is it being alone or cuddling with you? Do they feel better when they sit down with a book or doll or when they listen to music? Does it help them to have a comfort item? If you ask your children to take a break in their...
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Posted by on in Uncategorized
Saying No To Your Kids                           Do you love the excitement on your little one's face when you say yes to something they really want? Do you cringe inwardly when you know you are going to have to be the "bad guy" and say no? With some skillful maneuvering, you won't have to play bad cop very often. We believe that it's important to say yes to everything you reasonably can say yes to, and to only say no for a strong reason, like safety or health. But the key to avoiding negativity is to stay out of yes-or-no scenarios. Instead, offer choices. Offering a choice between two acceptable alternatives makes a yes inevitable. You only offer options that you feel good about, so you can accept either choice your child makes. Offer only two options. Children feel overwhelmed and confused by more options...
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Children at Church and Other Solemn Occasions 'Tis the season…to try desperately to keep your children quiet during religious services, concerts, plays, and the like. But let's face it, they are kids! They're not exactly hardwired to sit still and look angelic. Except, of course, when no one is looking. I mean, there is Murphy's Law to contend with. So whether you are looking to survive a one-time event or to make weekly services more enjoyable, how do you help your child stay quiet? To start off with, we are assuming that you are going to an event where children are welcome, but need to be relatively quiet and calm. Let's just acknowledge that this is not always possible with little ones, and taking them out of the service if they are not handling it well is not a punishment; it's just acceptance of the limits of preschoolerhood. Staying quiet requires a set of skills that can be...
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Posted by on in Uncategorized
How to Address Screeching “My nine-month-old has found his voice…in the form of an ear-piercing shriek! Do I just try to wait it out until he learns words, or are there ways I can teach him more mom-friendly sounds?” There are three main reasons for children loudly screeching in their communication, and the reason your child is screeching will determine the best course of action. He may be experimenting with his voice. Babies are just learning how to control what comes out of their mouths. They learn by experimentation with mouth shape, throat constriction, air flow, and vocal cords. And, yep, some of that experimentation will be loud! You can tell if this is what your baby is doing by reading his face and body language. If he seems upset, there is likely another reason behind the screeching. But if he is happy or neutral, it is likely vocal experimentation. The best thing for a...
Tagged in: Discipline
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How to Have a Happy Grocery Shopping Trip With Your Preschooler Is grocery shopping a nightmare for you? Fussy kids, grumpy mom, whining for Lucky Charms, strangers staring, coming home with the wrong items because you couldn’t concentrate. Sound familiar? We used three simple rules that made grocery trips a whole lot smoother. We recited both the rules and the consequences together in the car before every shopping trip, because little ones can’t always remember the rules from week to week. Kids also need to say the rules themselves, not just hear them. Rule 1: Don’t touch. For the safety of the children and the merchandise, kids are only allowed to touch what mom hands them. Let them help with anything they can’t damage. They can put items in a child-sized basket or in the big basket. Rule 2: Stay where you can see Mom. You need to state this from the child’s perspective—a preschooler can’t take someone else’s perspective, so they...
Tagged in: Discipline outings rules
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Teach Your Child to Follow Directions the Fun and Easy Way Have you ever wondered how to teach your child to follow directions without it turning into a power struggle? The key is to focus on following directions as a skill that children can learn gradually in the same fun ways that they can learn their colors or to tie their shoes. Here’s the Following Directions Game: The best age to introduce this game is around one year, but you can introduce it any time, adjusting to their age and skill level. Keep in mind your child’s attention span—keep the game short, and stop before the kids are tired of it. Tell your child, “I have a game. It’s called the Following Directions Game. I’ll tell you something to do, and you see if you can do it.” Start off with one instruction. Demonstrate while saying, “Touch your nose.” When they do that, give them a second instruction, “Touch your head.” For...
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