With Halloween coming within the next couple of weeks we to make it fun and enjoyable for children of all ages. Children love dressing up and going from place to place getting treats, but for toddlers the whole experience is terrifying. Developmentally toddlers cannot handle seeing so many strange and frightening faces. What you need to understand is that when you change your face, a baby or toddler sees that face as the person. Young children cannot yet understand that it is you under the mask. Just like with peek a boo, when you cover your face you are gone, so covering your face with a mask means you have become a frightening stranger, making Halloween a scary experience. If you want to dress up that is fine, but don’t do anything to your face if you are with a toddler. It will only create fear and lot of tears. Make the experience fun, and if you are going trick or treating be aware of the house where people may open the door dressed in a costume. Nothing more disconcerting for a toddler than that, next year they will be able to cope, but for now you need to shield them. Remember they are still babies and are unable to comprehend what Halloween is. Go ahead have fun by taking them out to a few houses to see the sights, but remember their fears are real. We don’t want to make what is intended to be a fun and exciting night for children turn into a nightmare for your toddler. You can have fun and enjoy your inner child, but don’t push your young ones to grow up to fast, let them stay young for as long as they need. Halloween is forever but your toddler is only a toddler now, next year is a whole different Halloween. Trick or Treat!
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How is it possible that my adorable, sweet, loving toddler can get so angry, all the time? What happened to that baby, that was happy and agreed to almost anything I did. All of a sudden a new child has arrived, and no, no, no is now all I hear. What happened to yes? Where did it go and how can I find that child again?
- Toddlers are reaching an age of self awareness. They are beginning to understand the impact they have on their world. Saying no to everything is how they experiment with their environment. What you don’t want to do is teach them how much power they have when they use the word no, so what you need is a stratedgy.
- Never give toddlers questions with open ended answers. Always give yes or no answers, do you want your juice or don’t you. This is a yes or no answer because they will learn they are choosing their response. No I don’t want the juice may lead to a tantrum, but the tantrum becomes their choice. If they take the juice they have no tantrum. What they eventually learn to understand is, that these are their choices, so they are in control of the consequences.
- Never ask your toddler, what do you want, because they are so young they really don’t know what they want. When you ask, do you want juice? No! Do you want milk? No! Do you want water? No! Do you see where this is going? Your child is bringing you down a slippery slope with no end in sight but, a temper tantrum. The reality is, your sweet toddler is not capable of making that decision, but they are capable of learning the power they have over their environment.
Be sure to set your child, and yourself, up for success. Keep the choices to a yes or no answer, so your sweet toddlers learn to manipulate their environment without a tantrum. Keep yourself one or two steps ahead of the decision making process, in order to offset negative consequences. Always reinforce the positive side to a decision, so they learn how much better the right choice feels. Having peace in the house is just around the corner, so relax, these toddler days are over far too soon.
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Toilet training always seems to be a daunting task but, the reality is, that it is a learning process. It takes lots of positive feedback, celebrations for the smallest achievements and no reprimands for accidents. The problem most people have is that they focus too much on the accidents and not the successes. The successes are not diapers off and no more accidents but, that the child is wilfully trying to learn. The most important understanding for your little one is to see the pee in the potty or toilet. Even the smallest amount will help them to understand that this is where the pee goes. One good thing about urine is that it is warm, so when the child feels it running down their leg, they learn quickly that they don’t like the way that feels. Most children do not want that feeling, and will want to get to the potty fast. You will know the signs as the child will get quite stressed, holding themselves and more than likely expressing loudly, the need to pee. This is a process that starts with; understanding what pee is, getting some into the potty for visual feedback, the understanding the feeling of a full bladder and knowing what comes next (the pee running down the leg). Once that has been achieved the training is in full swing.
Toilet training can take a long time to be complete so, don’t buy a bunch of big boy or girl underwear at the beginning. That is focussing on the end result, not the process. Keep diapers and pull-ups on hand, using them for naps, out of the house trips, night time etc., because we don’t want them to have any accidents. Accidents will be considered failures, when in fact; they are part of the process and should be expected. How we make accidents nonexistent, is to keep them in a diaper, when making it to a toilet is difficult. When at home simply take the diaper off. Once they understand that a full bladder means the potty, they will likely want to get to the potty even with the diaper. Training is complete when your child is able to try to go pee, when asked. A training child is not able to try to pee, they go when the bladder full. When you can say “go pee” and the child goes, or at least will try to go, it’s time to take your child shopping for those big boy/girl underwear that you have been talking about. Let your child choose the ones they want, that will be an awesome reward, for a job well done.
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Ouch! You bit me. Babies first biting experience is not because the child is mean it is usually an accident. A baby does not know that sinking their brand new teeth into your soft skin will be painful they are just trying something new. Remember babies don`t know what pain is, or what it means to hurt someone yet. They are acquiring knowledge, which they build through the process of action/reaction, therefore, the bite was an action and what happens next is the reaction.
Let’s think about a baby’s first biting experience the scenario is usually similar for everyone so my example should ring the familiarity bell. You and the baby are having a snuggling moment possibly face to face laughing and basically enjoying each other’s company when bam you feel this excruciating pain. What follows is almost always the same. Baby is quickly removed maybe pushed away with a loud OUCH. The baby looks at your face for a social cue and sees your response so the crying begins. You’re still nursing your own pain so the crying becomes more intense. I like to think of it as pandemonium and no matter how many times the babies bites the same response follows. Remember action/reaction. My teeth bite down and pandemonium follows.
How do we control the biting from continuing you ask? Well it is a fairly simple concept. Don’t let it happen again. If your baby and you are cuddling in a similar situation be aware of the baby’s teeth. Just before they are about to latch on to your skin there is a moment of silence. The baby’s thought processes have changed and something new is about to happen. That new action may be the bite so you are aware and stop it. Take the baby and look them lovingly in the face and continue your beautiful interaction. No bite, no response. Life is good and your beautiful child does not turn into the child nobody wants around their children. Sounds simple, well it is. Keep your interactions positive and what you produce is a positive child. Life doesn’t get any better than that.
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