1. Connect Set aside 10 minutes of special time every day for each child. One day, they pick what to do. The next day, you pick. But focus all your attention on your child, with all your heart. 2. Control your own emotions. No matter what the issue--bad grades at school, temper tantrums, refusal to eat dinner--before you intervene with your child, always start by calming yourself. Most of the time, an issue with your child may feel like an emergency, but it isn't. You can take a deep breath and step away in order to calm yourself and be the parent you want to be.
As the parent, you play an important role in your child's development. Children are continually gaining important knowledge and skills that will help them learn to read,write, and succeed in school when they get older. It is important that you observe your child carefully and regularly share your observations with teachers, caregivers and health care providers. Sharing information about skills and about possible concerns will avoid later frustration, if your child shows signs of struggle. Early is Better If your child is having difficulties learning, it's never too earlyto start looking for ways to help him or her experience success. Maybe you think your child should be able to do something that he or she is not yet doing. And maybe you think that, overall, your child's development is right on the mark. In either case, you can take the lead to find out if your child would benefit from some extra or specially targeted help. There are many people who share your goal of helping your child succeed. You can ask a teacher, school, or pediatrician to point you in the right direction. Remember, with the right instruction and support, almost all children can become successful readers right from the start. Here's what you can do next.
The preschool years are an important time for developing healthy habits for life. From 2 to 5 years old, children grow and develop in ways that affect behavior in all areas, including eating. The timing of these milestones may vary with each child. Click the following link to read about these milestones for 2-5 year olds: Behavioral Milestones for 2-5 year olds. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts on this topic.
Some children start kindergarten with double the vocabulary of others. Knowing many words and understanding them are important in developing thinking skills and in getting ready to read. Click on the following link to read some ways to add to your child's school readiness with the gift of new words: http://illinoisearlylearning.org/tipsheets/gift-reading.htm. It's never too early to start! (taken from illinoisearlylearning.org) Also, check out the "Best Selling Children's Books" list for all ages on our blog.
1. Respect your child's appetite--or lack of one If your child isn't hungry, don't force a meal or snack. Likewise, don't bribe or force your child to eat certain foods or clean his or her plate. Serve small portions to avoid overwhelming your child and give him or her the opportunity to independently ask for more. 2. Stick to the routine Serve meals and snacks at about the same times every day. Allowing your child to fill up on juice, milk or snacks throughout the day might decrease his or her appetite for meals. 3. Be patient with new foods Young children often touch or smell new foods, and might even put tiny bits in their mouths and then take them back out again. Your child might need repeated exposure, up to 15 times, before he or she takes the first bite. Encourage your child by talking about a food's color, shape, aroma and texture--not whether it tastes good. Serve new foods along with your child's favorite foods. 4. Make it fun Serve broccoli and other veggies with a favorite dip or sauce. Cut foods into various shapes with cookie cutters. Offer breakfast foods for dinner. If a child is served a variety, they are likely to eat more. Also, serve a variety of brightly colored foods. Rename foods to make them more appealing, serve them "x-ray vision carrots" or "power peas," instead of carrots or peas. Place favorite character stickers on snack bags or fruit or vegetables and research shows that they will eat twice as much. 5. Recruit your child's help At the grocery store, ask your child to help you select fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods. Don't buy anything that you don't want your child to eat. At home, encourage your child to help you rinse veggies, stir batter or set the table. 6. Set a good example If you eat a variety of healthy foods, your child is more likely to follow suit. 7. Be creative Add chopped broccoli or green peppers to spaghetti sauce, top cereal with fruit slices, or mix grated zucchini and carrots into casseroles and soups. 8. Minimize distractions Turn off all electronics/gadgets during meals. This will help your child focus on eating. Keep in mind that television advertising might also encourage your child to desire sugary or less nutritious foods. 9. Don't offer dessert as a reward Withholding dessert sends the message that dessert is the best food, which might only increase your child's desire for sweets. You might select one or two nights a week as dessert nights, and skip dessert the rest of the week--or redefine dessert as fruit, yogurt or other healthy choices. 10. Don't be a short-order cook Preparing a separate meal for you child after he or she rejects the original meal might promote picky eating. Encourage your child to stay at the table for the designated mealtime--even if he or she doesn't eat. Keep serving your child healthy choices until they become familiar and preferred. In the meantime, remember that your child's eating habits won't likely change overnight--but the small steps you take each day can help promote a lifetime of healthy eating.