Saturday, June 18, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
- Turn off the TVs and computers - Screentime is anti-downtime. Children who are passively viewing are still being otherwise entertained. Set family limits for screentime and respect them moving forward.
- It is okay if they are bored - When children whine and complain about being bored, it often means they haven't had enough practice with downtime. They need more practice at entertaining themselves.
- Avoid too many structured activities - Children who are constantly on the go to lessons, classes, clubs and playgroups may not have enough downtime. This is especially true for those having to additionally tag along to their siblings' activities. It's good practice to look at the overall family schedule, put downtime on the calendar if you have to.
- Start small - If this is a new concept to your family, start with 10 to 15 minute stretches, then gradually increase the time.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Share your own interests. If you are a gardener get them in the garden with you, get them a children's gardening kit. They know it's important to you and now you are sharing with them.
Play with them. Play is their number one job through six years old, join them! Don't know how? Take a wider look at play. Play includes pretend play, dress-up, arts and crafts, board games, building blocks, movement games, sing-alongs, word play, floortime and more.
Give them lots of social opportunity and coach when needed. A piece of self-esteem is feeling socially connected. Give children opportunities to develop good social and play skills often. If things aren't going well, look at why and work on it.
Keep them challenged but not overwhelmed. If your child is managing 10 piece puzzles now, think 20 piece puzzles soon. If they are reading books with 3 sentences on a page, think 6 sentences. Constantly be thinking of the next step but go just a bit harder so you don't overwhelm.
To learn more about this and other information about children's self-esteem, join Dr. Rene for an evening workshop on Self-Esteem, Wednesday May 11 from 7:00-9:00pm. To learn more and =register, please visit http://www.eventbrite.com/org/283710166?s=1328924.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
There are so many ways to stay calm. Of course, not every way works for every parent, so I am including calm tips in our emails often this year. Here are a few more ideas that may be helpful in tantrums as well as other times you need to stay calm.
- Learn about child development. It can be calming to know that saying 'no' all day long and doing the opposite of what is requested are common two year old behaviors. It can be calming to know that five and six year olds are often driven by a sense of fairness and hearing "That's not fair!" is par for the course. There are a few good series on development including Touchpoint: Birth to Three and Three to Six by Brazelton and Your One Year Old thru Your Nine Year Old by Ames.
- Shift your thinking to view the benefits of the negative behaviors. Every time your child is aggressive, think of it as an opportunity to teach them better ways to express anger and how to use their words. When your child has a tantrum, think of it as a chance for them to pratice calming, an opportunity to teach emotion language.
- Assume changing behaviors and learning new behaviors takes time. If you assume potty training will be a two day process, you may be frustrated when it takes two weeks. If you assume it will take a few months, than you are pleasantly surprised at the two week mark.
To learn more ways to calm, join Dr. Rene for our two evening session on Calm Parenting. The next workshop series is offered on June 2 AND 9 from 7:00-9:00pm. For more information and to register, please visit http://www.eventbrite.com/org/283710166?s=1328924.