Archive | March 5th, 2013

How To Teach Children Respect

Teaching toddlers to be respectful is a goal that should be started as early as possible. Showing respect will help toddlers gain friends and be successful as an adult. Here are some tips on how to teach children respect.

Respect Your Toddler

Show your toddler respect. Start by listening. In daily conversations, look your toddler in the eye and give him your full attention to make it clear that you are interested in what he is saying. Listening to your toddler will help him understand how important respect is which will encourage him to reciprocate the action.

Teach Polite Responses

Train your little one to say “please” whenever he wants or asks for something and to say “thank you” when someone has done something nice for him. He may need a little reminding at first so be patient and constantly give him reminders. Do not forget to say them to your toddler as well. The more he hears them, the more likely he will learn to use them with you and others, making respect a normal part of any conversation.

Demand Respect

Make your toddler aware that you expect him to show respect to everyone. When a child knows what behaviour is expected of him, the easier it will be for him to follow rules. Again, be prepared to give plenty of reminders. When limits are pushed, point it out but never make your toddler feel guilty which will only damage his self-esteem. For instance, if your little one yelled at his older sister, gently grab his hand and say “Screaming at your elders is disrespectful. Say sorry to your sister.”. Or, before you go out to eat, remind him to show good manners and if he misbehaves, he will be removed from the restaurant. Make sure you follow through with the consequence. You can talk it over later when the two of you have cooled off.

Do Not Overreact

When you are about to lose your temper, try not to get upset. Oftentimes, toddlers push their parents’ buttons to provoke a reaction. Squat to your toddler’s level so you are facing each other and say gently but firmly “We do not punch people.”, and then demonstrate how to get what he wants respectfully, “If you need help, just ask politely.” Say “Mommy, can you help me finish my homework?”.

Be A Good Example

Most importantly, be a respectful role model. Your toddler will learn by watching and copying what you do and what you say. Be nice and polite to people. If you are angry, show your toddler how to deal with the situation in a mature manner rather than having a meltdown. If your little one sees you calm, he is more likely to react that way with you and others.

Remember to praise good behaviour as well. Do not just focus on the wrong things all the time. Thank your toddler for saying excuse me while you were on the phone. Be appreciative and make sure he knows you are proud of him. Doing this will motivate your toddler to continue the good behaviour.

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Nanny Care – Hiring Grandma To Be A Nanny

If you decide nanny care is the best childcare option for your toddler and you are thinking of hiring grandma to be the perfect caregiver, here are some things you should consider to make this set-up work.

Ask The Question

Never assume your mother will be thrilled to spend her days looking after her grandchild. As much as your mother loves your toddler, your mom has her own life and she might be hesitant to be your toddler’s nanny since she does not have the energy of a 25-year old anymore. Talk it out with your mother and pop the question nicely.

Lay Ground Rules

Sure, hiring grandma to be a nanny will save you the hassle of explaining the requirements of her job. But the problem is, you have different opinions and parenting approaches. Thus, it is very crucial that you keep her aware of your expectations. How can you do this without hurting your mother’s feelings? Simple. Have a clear and open line of communication. Discuss house rules, limitations, routines and discipline style with her. If your mother objects, hear her out. For instance, if she wants to extend your toddler’s TV time to 40 minutes, let her. But, ask her to implement this only twice a week. Compromise and collaboration will keep your relationship peaceful.

Come Up With A Payment Plan

Naturally, your mother will reject receiving money from you. But, you can talk about some kind of compensation such as taking her out to dinner once a week, getting her car washed, giving her gift certificates to her favorite boutique or salon or gifting her with a paid vacation.

Do A Dry Run

Before you go back to work, ask grandma to spend a few days helping you with your toddler so she will know your toddler’s daily routine, favorite toys, how to install a car seat, where things are stored, when your toddler is likely to have an outburst, how you deal with it and so on.

Be Open

Be flexible and show respect. Your mother may have some valuable advice that would be helpful for your little one. If grandma did something you did not like, ask her why she did it and then ask her to do it differently the next time. Or, if she wants to take your toddler to the mall and have lunch there, there is no need to protest as long as she knows not to give your toddler sweets.

Arrange Backup Care

It is very essential that you look for backup care in case your mother gets sick, goes on a vacation or has something important to do. You can also hire a part-time babysitter to assist grandma or so she can have afternoons off.

Keep in mind that hiring grandma to be the nanny is not always the perfect solution for every family. This arrangement may be hassle-free for your friend but may not work for you. Before making a decision, make sure you consider your child, your family and your grandma’s needs.

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Toddler Discipline – Discouraging Materialism In Toddlers

Buying stuff for your toddler is fine, but giving in to his demands all the time can make him materialistic. Here are some toddler discipline tips to help keep your toddler from equating things with happiness.

Set A Good Example

Parents are the best role model for their children. If you want to stop your toddler from developing an insatiable desire for things, let him see you behaving with control and wisdom. Evaluate yourself. Do you shop impulsively? Love buying designer labels? Are you only happy when you have new things? Remember, children like imitating their parents. So if you want to discourage materialism in your toddler, you have to let go of your own materialism.

Window shop together without buying anything to demonstrate that while it is nice to look at store displays, you do not necessarily have to purchase something each time you go to a store. Or, when looking at a catalogue, you can say something like “I like this new flat screen HD TV but our old one still works just fine.”. Explaining these things will help get the message across.

Limit Screen Time

The media, especially TV commercials can pressure toddlers to get the latest robot or shoes. Limit your toddler’s screen time so his exposure to TV commercials and “I want that” mindset is reduced. Record his favorite programs so you can skip the ads. Watch more movies. Discuss the marketing techniques used in commercials with your toddler.

Teach Your Toddler About Money

Believe it or not, a 4-year old can understand the value of money. Give your toddler weekly household chores and an allowance once he finishes them. This will make him realize that money should be earned. Teach your toddler how to use it. Give him a small piggy bank and ask him to save half of his money and half is his to spend as he chooses. If he says “Mommy, I want that toy” at the store, say something like “This costs four dollars. Do you have enough money to pay for it?”.

Do Not Use Things As A Reward

Rewarding good behaviour with buying your toddler something he likes is okay, but it should not be done all the time as this will make him associate the reward with good behaviour which will only cause problems later in life. Use other incentives such as letting him play at the playground a little longer, cooking his favorite food for dinner or reading him an additional bedtime story.

Give Back

Teach your toddler to give back. Ask him to clean out his closet and pick a few toys and clothes to donate to homeless shelters. Let him tag along when bringing food for a sick relative. Help out in a soup kitchen. These activities instil an outlook that will help counteract materialism.

Focus On Things That Matter

Teach your toddler how to express gratitude for the deeper value of things. Make gifts instead of buying them. Explain to your little one how much you value the blanket grandma gave you for your 18th birthday. Spend time with your toddler no matter how busy your schedule is. Play hide and seek. Take afternoon walks. Ride a bicycle. Go on road trips during weekends.

Teaching your toddler that there is more to life than brand-new, modern and cooler stuff is the best way to ensure he does not become materialistic so he can enjoy the true joys of life.

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