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Is it harmful to yell at your preschooler?

by Maxine
Posted December 22 2010 05:44pm
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Some people might think that because they only yell at their child, and don't do anything physical, that it's really not that bad. But frequent, angry yelling can be as harmful as hitting your child because of the emotional hurt it causes.

If you do lose your temper and yell at your child, tell your child as soon as possible that you are sorry, and it wasn't right for you to behave the way you did. Also, explain that you will try very hard not to yell in the future. Most importantly, show your child that you will always love them.  This is also great modeling for your child, who will learn that yelling is not an acceptable way of dealing with problems.

Yelling is usually a sign that you have lost control and so it will be difficult to parent effectively.  When you are not in control, step back, take a few breaths or remove yourself until you are calm.  You might ask your partner to step in for you as well.

If you are yelling at your child regularly, consult your physician about possible medical reasons for your anger.

 

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Living smoke-free with your preschooler

by Maxine
Posted December 22 2010 05:52pm
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Breathing in second-hand smoke causes over 1,100 deaths in Canadian non-smokers from lung cancer and heart disease every year. A Health Canada Report in 2007, noted that 7% of Canadian children under 12 years old were exposed to second-hand smoke from cigarettes, cigars or pipes. Although this number is dropping, it still means that about 300,000 children under age 12 continue to be exposed regularly to second-hand smoke. 

The good news is that most Canadian families agree they should avoid exposure to second-hand smoke in their home and car. Currently, four out of five (82%) Canadian homes already restrict smoking in some way and parents report there is general agreement about these restrictions among family members. Parents also report that the primary reason they want to cut back on the amount of second-hand smoke in their home is because of their children.

Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals which are known to be linked to cancer. Second hand smoke also contains these chemicals; 2/3 of the smoke from a burning cigarette remains in the environment such as a room or a car-the other 1/3 is inhaled by the smoker.  Third hand smoke also contains the same chemicals. This is the smoke that gets trapped in hair, skin, fabric, carpets, dust and toys; which accumulates over time. Babies and young children may take in more third hand smoke because they put their hands in their mouth and they spend more time playing on the floor.

Children are more vulnerable to the effects of second-hand smoke because:

  • They breathe faster than an adult and will breathe in more air relative to their weight and, therefore, absorb more toxins. 
  • Their immune systems are less developed than an adult and their lungs are still developing. 
  • Their airways are smaller and more sensitive to impurities in the air. 
  • Children may not be able to move to a less smoky environment (e.g. get out of the car). 
  • Exposure to second-hand smoke in children has been linked with health problems such as colds and upper respiratory infections, bronchitis, croup, ear infections, asthma and allergies.  

What do these statistics mean to you as a parent? Well, for one thing, they mean that you are not alone. Across Canada, hundreds of thousands of families are struggling with the issue of second-hand smoke and are looking for ways to protect their children from its harmful effects. For a guide on how to make your home and car smoke free visit Health Canada’s website or visit The Canadian Lung Association website which has tips on how to protect yourself from Second and Third Hand Smoke.

Visit Health Canada's website for a Guide for Parents: Making Home and Car Smoke-Free.

 

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Cooking with Your Preschooler

by Maxine
Posted August 8 2011 02:11pm
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Cooking is an activity that preschoolers can enjoy. The following Comfort, Play & Teach tips provide ways to share with children the comforting power of foods, the fun of creating a meal and the science of cooking and eating healthy.

Comfort

  • Turn a weekend morning into something special by making breakfast with your child. Use everyone's favourite breakfast foods and let him feel good about contributing to the happiness of others.
  • Prepare hot chocolate in the evening and savour it together while talking or reading a book so that you can both unwind and spend a pleasant moment together.
  • Ask your child to help you with simple tasks in the kitchen and show him that his help is valued. This will help him build confidence and self-esteem.

Play

  • Let your child express and develop her creativity, e.g., invent a new recipe together and serve it to the whole family.
  • Place small amounts of different ingredients such as flour, sugar, vanilla extract, or jam in containers, and make each other guess their contents by exploring their smell, taste, or texture.
  • Together, make meals more attractive and fun by arranging food in playful shapes and configurations that you can then enjoy eating together.

Teach

  • Demonstrate basic science concepts, e.g., when dough is cooked, it goes from a soft state to a hard state; when solid chocolate is heated, it melts into a liquid.
  • Encourage healthy eating habits by cooking wholesome foods with your child and explaining what foods are rich in the things that are good for our bodies such as vitamins, proteins, and minerals.
  • Teach your child about counting and quantities, e.g., when making pancakes, we use two eggs and we measure 2 cups of flour.

 

Spending time in the kitchen with your preschooler is a great way to incorporate Comfort, Play & Teach into every day. Visit our Activity Centre for a list of activities that you can do with your child.

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Easing Holiday Stress Tip Sheet

by Maxine
Posted December 4 2011 10:34pm
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As the holiday season approaches many families may be busy with shopping, gift wrapping, cooking, entertaining guests and decorating. While these add joy to the holidays, they also require a lot of time and energy. It is important for both grown ups and children alike to pace holiday activities.

Make some Comfort, Play & Teach® time for relaxing this holiday season and download this tipsheet (PDF).

 

 

 

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