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Preschoolers Who Are Shy

by Maxine
Posted August 27 2010 02:35pm
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Some children are shy. They "hang back" in groups. They need your assistance to learn how to become comfortable talking and playing with others.

The main things to remember when trying to help a child like this to cope with new situations are:

  • Don't label a child "shy" or introduce your child as a "shy child." Sometimes children will define themselves as this and never move beyond the label.
  • Don't push your child into situations that he might find overwhelming. It's important that you accept your child's nature and help him develop ways to overcome his shyness - that may take time and patience. Instead of pushing, offer your child opportunities to be involved with others with your support.
  • Prepare your child ahead of time by talking about new situations, such as what she will encounter, or who may be there, and talk with her about ways to become involved in groups.
  • Don't nag your child about being shy. Parents who get irritable or impatient with a child's shyness may find that their child reacts by being even shyer.

Remember, every child is unique. Some children will be shy, to a greater or lesser degree, all their lives. It's important for them to feel valued for who they are.

 

Is your preschooler shy? How do you handle it? What tips do you have for other parents in the same situation? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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Helping your preschooler deal with his feelings

by Maxine
Posted December 22 2010 04:04pm
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It's a good idea to help your preschooler learn to manage his emotions, but remember you don't want to stop young children from having feelings all together. It's much better to help your child learn better ways of dealing with his feelings instead. Here are several things that you can try:

Try to set a good example for your child. When you find yourself getting upset or frustrated, try saying things out loud like, "I'm sure I can get through this if I slow down and think about it." This is a great way to teach your child how to calm himself down and remain in control.

Help your child put what she is feeling into words. Teach her what to call different types of feelings.

Talk about the way people in storybooks and pictures are feeling, and talk about what might cause those feelings.

Explain that you understand she's upset or angry, but at the same time let your child know that some behaviours, like hurting others or constantly whining, are not acceptable.

Take your child's feelings seriously and acknowledge how he is feeling. Never say "It's not such a big deal" or "Why are you so upset about that?" Instead, help your child understand that many people have similar feelings on occasion, and some people have them more often. Then discuss the acceptable ways to express them.

Be a positive influence when your child does get upset by helping to calm him and change the situation into something more positive.

Avoid labeling your child by his feelings, such as "He's always been an angry boy" or "She can't help it, she's shy." Too often, a child will start to believe what is being said, and live up to the label.

If your child's control of her emotions doesn't seem to be improving, consult your child's physician for referrals to appropriate family services in your area.

 

How do you help your preschooler cope with her feelings? Leave a comment below and share your story with other parents just like you!

 

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When Preschoolers Whine

by Maxine
Posted December 22 2010 07:06pm
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You know what it’s like when your little one starts in with that whiny tone. It can drive even the calmest parent crazy!

When preschoolers begin to whine, the most important thing to do is not to give in. If you do, it will teach your child that whining is a good way to get what he wants, and he will do it again, and again. Instead, let him know that you expect him to speak to you without whining.

Acknowledge your child’s efforts when she speaks without whining.  If she keeps whining, stay calm and ignore it until she speaks properly. If you think she is really overwhelmed by a situation, though, she may need a hug or a back rub to break the cycle.

Here are some suggestions from our experts to prevent whining:

  • Watch for situations where your child may get bored, and prepare for them. For example, have a bag of toys for your child to play with while you're on the phone.
  • Teach your child the difference between whining and asking properly.
  • Try to pay attention to your child when she talks to you in a normal voice. If you ignore her when she is asking for something nicely, she may start to feel that the only way to get your attention is to whine.

 

What do you do when your preschooler whines? How do you handle the situation? Share your story with other parents by leaving a comment below!

 

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Help! My child doesn’t want to go to school

by Maxine
Posted September 5 2011 08:16pm
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Some children become very anxious or scared about going to childcare or school. This is especially common in September, or when your child starts in a new setting. But it can happen at any time. The typical signs are complaints about feeling sick, crankiness, tantrums, saying he can't find things or refusing to get dressed or get in the car. This can be very stressful and frustrating. And it is usually difficult to tell whether he is really coming down with an illness, or whether he is anxious and developing physical symptoms that look like illness.

As a general rule, it is good to send a child along to daycare or school, unless they have signs of illness such as a fever or a sore throat. The longer children stay home when they are not sick, the harder it is to return to school. So it is better to send them, even if they are upset. Teachers and caregivers are very accustomed to dealing with this type of anxiety. And by all means, alert the school or daycare provider to what is happening, and ask them to monitor your child's health.

However, if you and your child have had a bad morning where he has become very upset about not wanting to go to school, find a time when you and your child are both calm to try to find out what went wrong. Talk with your child about his school fears and worries. Explain that there is no choice about going to school, but that you appreciate how he feels and will try to help.

Then talk to your child's caregiver or teacher and ask for help and advice. Sometimes anxiety can be eased by something as simple as the teacher changing your child's seat in the classroom. Or you or your child's teacher may notice that he is having difficulty making new friends. You can help in this situation by inviting these other children to play in your home.

If you are feeling guilty about leaving your child, she may pick up on these feelings and become anxious herself. Therefore, it's very important to show confidence that you know your child and your child's teacher or caregiver will have a good day when you leave them.

What do you do when you preschooler refuses to go to school or daycare? Share your experiences here with other parents just like you!

 

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