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Encouraging your preschooler to share

by Maxine
Posted December 20 2010 11:54am
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Does your child ever have trouble sharing? If so, you’re definitely not alone. 

Our experts have come up with several suggestions for helping your preschooler learn to share:

Be a role model. If you share and take turns with your child, he will experience how nice it is to have someone share with him, and will learn to do the same thing with others.

Try to let your child have enough space to play beside another child, but make room for her own toys and activities. When children are very young, it's a good idea to have duplicate toys to make everybody happy. Allow your child to think of a toy as "mine, mine, mine!" but also acknowledge your child when she lets someone else take a turn. Describe how the other child feels when she shares, such as, "Johnny is so happy you gave him a turn with the ball."

Be a guide. If your child wants a toy another child has, help him find some other interesting toy or activity in the meantime, to help him learn to wait.

Be patient. Know that it takes time for children to be ready to share, so don't expect your child to be too generous too soon. And certainly don't punish her for not sharing or taking turns. You want sharing to be a happy experience - not something your child feels forced to do.

At about three years old, help your child sort it out with other children if an argument develops over a toy. This will give him the skills to eventually work things out himself.

And finally, until you feel your child can handle them, avoid situations with too many children. They can be overwhelming if a child is in the middle of an "all mine" stage.

 

How do you teach your preschooler share? What techniques have worked for you? Leave a comment below and share your experience with parents just like you!

 

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How will my child react to the death of a pet?

by Maxine
Posted December 22 2010 05:39pm
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For many children, the death of a pet is their first experience with death and grieving. Some children are particularly close to their pets, and may feel the loss intensely. For those who have already lost a loved one, a pet's death may reawaken the feelings of anxiety, loss and pain they felt before.

Children need to know that you understand and accept how anxious, sad, angry and confused they are feeling - and that their feelings will change with time. If they begin to worry that you, or even they, may die too, you should reassure them that they are safe and that you expect to live a long, long time and will be there to care for them.

Help your child express their feelings. The most helpful process for anyone experiencing grief and loss is to be able to talk about their feelings and to have them accepted by loved ones around them.  Avoid saying things like, “Your dog died last month, you should stop being sad by now”. Whether they are sad, or angry, or lonely, or scared, let your child know that it is okay to feel that way.  Give them a hug, tell them you love them and that you miss the pet as well. Talk about the pet and what you remember.  

Depending on their age, children can react to a pet's death in a lot of different ways. It's not unusual for children to have nightmares, start wetting the bed, get stomach aches or headaches, start acting out aggressively, become withdrawn and want to be alone or not want to go to school.

Children under five in general do not understand that death is forever.  They may mention that their dog has died one minute and the next ask you to buy some dog treats when you are at the store.  

It is not unusual for children to feel strongly and intensely sad about the death of a pet for a period of six to eight weeks. However, if it lasts longer than this, consult your child's physician or a counsellor.  It may also be helpful to consult your child's daycare provider or school teacher, principal, or guidance counsellor to see if this behaviour is happening at school, too.

 

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Encouraging your preschooler to help with chores

by Maxine
Posted August 8 2011 02:22pm
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When it comes to getting your child involved in household chores, it's good to start when they are very young by introducing small tasks. Preschoolers can put dirty clothes in the laundry basket, put toys away and pitch in by helping with the dishes or hanging up clothes. Young children often want to "help" you with whatever you're doing. However, even if you did not involve your very young child in family chores, it's never too late to start.

Older children can do larger tasks, such as setting the table or dusting the bookshelves. By making children part of the family routine early, and building on responsibility gradually, chores do not seem as "bad."

It also helps if you and your partner have successfully worked out how to share chores, so that your child sees both of you working to keep the household going. Try to avoid stereotyping activities. Boys can really enjoy cooking or doing dishes and girls can equally enjoy learning about tools or cleaning up the yard.

Don't forget to instill fun with chores. Play music, dance around and joke while doing the chores. This teaches children that good feelings and work go together.

Avoid bribing your child to do chores. Instead let your child know that for a family to get along, all members have to do their share, and chores should be your child's way of helping the family. If you want to give your preschool child an allowance, do so to help him learn to appreciate and manage money, not for doing chores.

Have you included your preschool in some simple chores around the house? Have you had any luck? Let us know the strategies that you’ve used to encourage your child to pitch in around the house by leaving a comment below.

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Preparing your preschooler for the arrival of a new baby

by Maxine
Posted January 2 2012 07:14pm
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When you’re expecting another child you want to prepare your preschooler for the changes that a new sibling will bring.

Our experts have created some tips to help you make the transition a little smoother.

  • Let your child know that the baby is coming two or three months before the birth. Talk about the changes that will take place in the household and answer any questions she may have about birth and reproduction in a way that suits her age.
  • Assure your child that you will love him just the same.
  • Make your child feel important by saying, "You're going to be a big brother (or sister)." Let your child know he has a role and a relationship with the new baby.
  • Have your child help in choosing a name and in picking out baby clothes. Let your child feel the baby kicking.
  • Take your child to visit someone else's new baby so he can learn what to expect and get used to the size and sounds of an infant.
  • If you are the mother, encourage your partner to spend more time with your child before the birth so she becomes used to that before you get too busy with the baby.
  • If your child is going to be moved out of a crib and into a bed, it's best to do this long before the new baby arrives. This gives your older child time to become attached to the "new bed." This way he won't think the move out of a favourite sleeping place (the crib) was because of the new baby.
  • Read children's books that are about new babies to your child. 

How did your preschooler react when you became pregnant? When you brought home the baby? Share your story with other parents by leaving a comment below.

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