Archive | January 17th, 2013

Tips For Teaching Tolerance In Toddlers

We are living in a world that is surrounded by differences. If you want your toddler to be open and accepting, you need to teach your child how to be tolerant. Here are some tips you can follow for teaching tolerance in toddlers.

Be A Role Model

The best way you can teach your toddler this important value is to be an example of tolerance. Be mindful of your attitude, the way you speak and talk to others. Children love to imitate their parents, so if you show your toddler the right way to deal with people no matter what race or background they come from, he will also learn to accept and respect them.

Talk About Differences Respectfully

Take the time to explain things to your toddler. Discuss diversity – race, hair color, skin color, religion, traditions, beliefs, etc. in a realistic and informative manner. Avoid name-calling even if you are just joking as this will give your toddler an idea that stereotyping is okay. Tell your toddler that it is good that people are different as it makes the world more interesting. Do not forget to talk about the differences in your family as well. Encourage him to ask questions and make sure to answer them honestly.

Expose Your Toddler

Give your toddler an opportunity to interact with children from different groups. Enroll him in a class, workshop, day camp or daycare center. Visit museums. Travel with your toddler. This new experience will broaden your child’s mind and help him understand the world.

Read books, listen to music and watch TV shows about different cultures. Together, you can learn about the history, holidays, celebrations and lifestyle that are not part of your own practices. A word of caution – the media is a very influential tool in shaping the mind of people, especially children so make sure you select your resources carefully.

Honour Your Family’s Traditions

It is also important to teach your toddler about your own background. Talk about your ancestors. Teach your family practices to your child. Doing so helps your toddler to feel proud of his roots.

Encourage Self-confidence

Everyone knows that people who feel badly about themselves often treat others disrespectfully. Each time your toddler shows respect, compliment him for a job well done. Small rewards such as giving your little one a hug and a kiss, cooking his favorite food for dinner or extending his time at the playground are good ways to show your appreciation. If he feels good about himself, he will be more likely to display tolerance towards others.

Do Not Be Afraid To Reprimand

Whenever you see your toddler being intolerant, call him out to make him aware of his misbehaviour. Never ignore it. If you hear him say slang words which can offend others, say “What you said was not good baby. It can hurt others. You do not want to hurt others don’t you?”.

It is your responsibility to teach your toddler proper behaviour. Thus, it is important that you lead by example and make him aware of people’s differences so you can help him grow into a well-mannered and well-informed individual.

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Pets and Children – Why Every Toddler Should Own A Pet

Pets and children have an unexplainable bond. After all, many toddlers call their pets their best friends. If your toddler has been bugging you to buy him a pet, here are some reasons why you should go through with it.

Teaches Values

Having a pet teaches your toddler how to be responsible. Since you will be putting your little one in charge of feeding the pet, taking it out for a walk or helping you clean out the cage, your toddler learns how to be in charge of another life, helping him better understand the value of responsibility.

Another value toddlers learn when taking care of a pet is compassion. Your toddler will learn not to grab a cat’s tail, wrestle or play tug-of-war with your pet dog. He will realize that pets, just like people, need food, shelter and love.

Boosts Social and Physical Skills

Research shows that children with family pets have higher self-esteem. Why? Because having a pet helps a toddler develop skills necessary for forming relationships with other peers. They have a friend to play with and talk to so that when they go outside of their homes, they can communicate more easily with other people. Plus, since pets need regular exercise, your little one will be encouraged to take walks or play outside with the pet which helps strengthen his physical skills.

Helps Toddlers Understand Nature and Living

Having a pet will help your toddler understand the animal world and nature. For example, having a pet fish encourages your little one to discover how this creature eats, lives, how to care for it and so on. Your toddler will not only learn a lot about vertebrates but this will also help him understand the beauty of life.

Good For The Health

According to studies, children who were exposed to animals at an early age are less likely to develop common allergies as compared to children who had no pets at home. Pets can help lower the risk of children getting ear infection, heart disease and other respiratory problems. This is because early exposure to the bacteria alters the way a toddler’s immune system reacts to other allergens.

In addition, pets can also enhance the emotional health of a toddler. They can help lessen depression, relieve emotional stress and help toddler’s transition more smoothly.

Instant Mood Lifter

Pets have a way of making a person happy so whenever your little one is feeling blue (e.g. he had a bad day at school), he will know that he can go to his pet to cheer him up.

Great Source of Entertainment

If your toddler is bored, instead of watching TV or playing video games which are unhealthy for toddlers, your toddler can go outside and have a fun time playing with his pet or teaching his dog a new trick.

Pets are good for everyone, especially toddlers. Having a pet not only helps in the development of your toddler but it can also cheer up the whole household.

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Children and Divorce – How To Help Toddlers Deal With It

Children and divorce is a very sticky issue separated parents have to deal with. There may be no easy way to help toddlers survive this ordeal but there are many things parents can do to help their children deal with separation in the best way possible.

Talk To Your Toddler

Your child is entitled to know the truth. Talk to your toddler openly and truthfully. This part will never be easy and sugar coating will just make the situation worse. Say something simple like, “Mommy and daddy love you very much. But we cannot get along anymore.”.  Leave your feeling of anger or guilt out of it.

Encourage Your Toddler To Talk

Toddlers have many questions about divorce, hence, encouraging your toddler to talk will help him voice out his feelings. Make sure you listen to what he has to say and answer them as gently but as honestly as possible. If he feels uncomfortable talking about the issue, ask him to write you a letter instead.

Provide Reassurance

Most children feel they are to blame for their parents’ divorce. So it is very important that you reassure your toddler that what happened is between mommy and daddy and is not his fault. Remind your little one that while sometimes, parents do not get along, that does not mean mom and dad will stop loving the child. In addition, always make your toddler feel loved. Hug, kiss, cuddle and say “I love you.” to your toddler as often as possible.

Address Changes

It is also important to prepare your toddler for the forthcoming changes in his life.  Help him understand that mommy or daddy will have to leave the house, he can stay in his dad’s house over the weekend or daddy will pick him up from school every afternoon.

Create Stability

While prepping your toddler for the changes is necessary, it is also equally important to let your toddler know that not everything will change. Keep the same rules. Continue doing your toddler’s daily routines. Having a regular schedule for feeding, bathing, playing, cuddling, sleeping, etc. is essential for creating a sense of security and for making your toddler feel loved regardless of which parent will look after the child.

Be Civil With Your Ex

Never fight with your ex in front of your toddler. No matter what problems you and your ex may have, it is crucial that you maintain a decent relationship with your ex. Avoid blaming your spouse and never say bad things about your ex.

Create An Arrangement

Come up with an arrangement with your ex. Discuss issues such as – visitation rights, holidays, birthdays, vacation and the likes. Whatever deal you decide on, see to it your toddler’s needs come first.

Give Space

Divorce will always be a sensitive issue especially to children. Be patient with your toddler. Give him space and time to express his disappointment, to mourn and to recover. Just let your little one know mommy and daddy will always be by his side no matter what happens.

Watching parents go through separation is a life-altering situation for children. Thus, it is essential for parents to find their inner strength so they can properly cope with this issue and help their children get through this difficult time.

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