Practical-parenting-2

Rude Toddlers: How To Teach Kids Tact

Life is certainly never dull when you have toddlers and the unintentionally rude things they say and do ensures both endless hilarity and humiliation galore.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Get Dads Involved In Parenting

I am a proud mum to two little people: 20-month-old and three-year-old daughters. They’re endless fun, and hard work at once, but it’s shopping trips that can leave me especially embarrassed.

Just this week, I had to explain to my eldest why it wasn’t cool to loudly ask me at the supermarket aisle: “Why is the man (a female checkout operator with a crew cut) wearing lipstick?” Shudder!

Then, my one-year-old sufficiently disgraced herself (and me) at a play centre on the weekend by screaming “Mermaid!” every time she laid eyes on a little redhead who did actually closely resemble a mini Ariel in her new obsession: The Little Mermaid.

The poor little redhead was suitably terrified of my tiny banshee, who then exacerbated the situation by chasing her around for hugs. Oh the vast and infinite horror. And the fun didn’t end there: my feisty, little one-year-old then started screaming “Mine!” and pushing others off her favourite animal toy, once redhead and her mum had fled the building.

toddlers, toddler taming, toddler social development

So, how on earth do we teach our toddlers sensitivity and tact? And why does it come naturally to some kids and not others?

Child experts say to gently explain to your toddler how certain involuntarily rude statements and behaviours affect others in the hope they’ll come to understand why it’s socially unacceptable. After all, your little tykes are busy testing out their social and language skills.

In addition, toddlers are also renowned for their total lack of self-control and are yet to fully develop a sense of empathy and understanding that people’s feelings can be hurt by unkind, tactless remarks.

Psychologists call this “theory of mind” which is where children come to realise that other people have thoughts and feelings different to their own.
And the age at which they learn varies greatly, depending on the social maturity of the child.
Daycare, which often gets undue bad press, actually encourages this important development of social skills and empathy towards others as children interact and feelings are inevitably hurt.

toddlers, toddler taming, toddler social development

Another recent clanger, was when my three-year-old asked me, thankfully, within the safety of our own home: “Why is Jacinta (her new kindy teacher) a man?” For the record, Jacinta is most definitely not a man, just a rather voluptuous woman.

So, it seems yet another important and essential parental responsibility is encouraging toddlers to have inquiring minds – my girls ask endless questions, sigh – while also educating them about what’s appropriate conversation and what’s not.

Child experts say not to scold your child for his/her honesty, call him/her rude, or discourage them from speaking their minds. Instead, you could try explaining that words are powerful: they can make people both happy and sad.

I think it’s also, in part, that fun parental lesson about teaching toddlers what constitutes good manners; encouraging kids to be kind and respectful, by example. And like all toddler-related matters, it’ll take every ounce of your patience and tolerance, ladies (at least it does me).

Now, if we can just teach our husbands to similarly always think before they speak…

Images, in order, via www.sheknows.com.au, www.news.com.au and research.fuseink.com.

February 10, 2015

Survival Tips For Parents Of A Newborn

Caring for a newborn child isn’t as easy as dream-feeds, naps which seem to go on for hours and taking cute pictures while they sleep. It’s often a difficult transition which sees you going from parent to none, to parent to one. It’s best not to lose sight throughout the entire experience, and savour the precious moments with your child, while also maintaining some important ‘me’ time.

Have a nap

Whenever you put your baby down for a nap, try to do the same. The odds are that they won’t be getting in a full night’s sleep for a while, and it’s best to at least have a short nap when they do. Even relaxing with a good book or a cup of tea is enough to re-energise your body for the next few hours of the day.

Accept help from family and friends

Family members, friends and relatives will mostly like be offering to cook dinner, tidy up the house and offer support over the next few weeks. It’s a great idea to take up any of these offers which come your way, since it will be easy for you to adjust and not worry about menial tasks such as making the bed or cooking an extensive dinner for a while. Try to get some rest and focus on yourself and your infant.

Time out

To avoid feeling like a zombie, take some time out and get some fresh air. Even going for a small, brisk walk can make a great difference and shift your mood. Arrange these activities around your babies feeding schedule, and try to leave the baby with a responsible adult while they’re taking a nap.

Parents group

Joining a local parents group or keeping in touch with other parents who also have newborns is fantastic to your child’s wellbeing. Get together for a coffee to discuss how your kids are holding up, or chat away via text message if there’s something you need to ask. The more support you can get, the better.

Eat three balanced meals

Keeping to a balanced eating schedule can prove difficult for the first few weeks after baby is born. This is especially important if you are breastfeeding, as this is the fuel which will keep you energised all day and will carry through to your child through the breast-milk. Avoid coffee, tea and soft drinks if you are breastfeeding as this could decrease your milk supply.

What are some of your tips for new parents?

Image via nymomsworld.com

By Felicia Sapountzis

June 6, 2014

Survival Tips To Parents Of A Newborn

Caring for a newborn child isn’t as easy as dream-feeds, naps which seem to go on for hours and taking cute pictures while they sleep. It’s often a difficult transition which sees you going from parent to none, to parent to one. It’s best not to lose sight throughout the entire experience, and savour the precious moments with your child, while also maintaining some important ‘me’ time.

Have a nap

Whenever you put your baby down for a nap, try to do the same. The odds are that they won’t be getting in a full night’s sleep for a while, and it’s best to at least have a short nap when they do. Even relaxing with a good book or a cup of tea is enough to re-energise your body for the next few hours of the day.

Accept help from family and friends

Family members, friends and relatives will mostly like be offering to cook dinner, tidy up the house and offer support over the next few weeks. It’s a great idea to take up any of these offers which come your way, since it will be easy for you to adjust and not worry about menial tasks such as making the bed or cooking an extensive dinner for a while. Try to get some rest and focus on yourself and your infant.

Time out

To avoid feeling like a zombie, take some time out and get some fresh air. Even going for a small, brisk walk can make a great difference and shift your mood. Arrange these activities around your babies feeding schedule, and try to leave the baby with a responsible adult while they’re taking a nap.

Parents group

Joining a local parents group or keeping in touch with other parents who also have newborns is fantastic to your child’s wellbeing. Get together for a coffee to discuss how your kids are holding up, or chat away via text message if there’s something you need to ask. The more support you can get, the better.

Eat three balanced meals

Keeping to a balanced eating schedule can prove difficult for the first few weeks after baby is born. This is especially important if you are breastfeeding, as this is the fuel which will keep you energised all day and will carry through to your child through the breast-milk. Avoid coffee, tea and soft drinks if you are breastfeeding as this could decrease your milk supply.

What are some of your tips for new parents?

Image via nymomsworld.com

By Felicia Sapountzis

June 4, 2014

5 Tips for Practical Parenting

Nobody ever said that raising kids was easy, at least no one who’s actually raised children! Practical parenting is something you have to learn as you go along, so we’re passing on these five common sense parenting tips. Remember, raising kids is always a work in progress.

1. Encourage open conversation

Start having back-and-forth conversations with the kids when they’re still young. Don’t just ask “How was school?” because the default answer is “Fine,” even if the child got beat up on the playground, found out a best friend was moving away or failed a big test. Ask more in-depth questions like, “What was the coolest thing that happened at school today?”

2. Make reading a treat

There’s an old saying that kids spend the first three grades of school learning to read and the rest, reading to learn. Make sure yours have the fundamentals, then work at instilling a love for reading. Find out what they’re interested in at all stages of their lives and make sure they have access to books about their passions.

If reading is fun for the kids, they’re more likely to devote more time to that and less to TV, games and fooling around on the computer. If your child gets engrossed in a book and wants to stay up late reading, approve—for an extra hour! Whether your child enjoys reading is a major indicator of how successful he or she will be in life.

3. Healthy food comes before junk

Your kids aren’t going to have an appetite for the dinner you cooked if they’ve been gorging on sugary snacks. When they come home from school or inside from playing, offer them healthy treats like chilled cut fruit, veggies with yogurt dip or homemade popsicles with fruit juice. Don’t keep junk food around the house.

4. Try to tell the truth

Maybe not the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but as much as you think the child can handle. If you continually lie to your child in order to avoid hurting his or her feelings, how is that child supposed to trust you later in life—like the teen years? If you’re about to get a divorce or grandma’s dying from cancer, you can’t keep something like that a secret forever.

5. Accentuate the positive

Some parents are so afraid that their children will be injured or disappointed by failure that they turn them into little hothouse plants. This is not good for either of you, because kids learn by making mistakes—and so do parents. Encourage your child to spread his or her wings and explore the world!

What are your best practical parenting tips?

August 8, 2013