Being a parent and/or a child care provider is never an easy job. Here are some great articles
to help us all along the way. Enjoy!
Tantrums getting the better of you?
in the two to three-year-old are fairly common. It is their way of protesting and signaling to us they really want to get
their own way. At this age children are just coming into their own and do not
like to be thwarted. They are driven by inquisitiveness and strutting new skills. They have mastered walking and are ever
increasing their motor skills. They are ready for exploration, but haven’t yet internalized rules, so they think everything
is fair game. And while we may think these young children can totally understand us, in truth, this is still a year and more
away. So it is not enough that we tell them what to do, we must also show them and physically direct their play and areas
for exploration. When young children get involved in things they shouldn’t, it is important to simply re-direct them
to approved activities and areas of play. You may find yourself doing this dozens upon dozens of times per day! Once will
never be enough at this age and this is why parenting two-year-old can be such a demanding time.
is the key for managing behaviour at age two, if tantrums persist at age three, ignoring such behaviour is the next strategy
parents should try. Ignoring tantrums teaches the child that this behaviour doesn’t work and so they often stop. Ignoring
really means withholding attention for misbehaviour, but, and very importantly, it is also a must that parents do provide
attention for appropriate behaviour. This is usually in the form of verbal feedback, praise, hugs and kisses.
If ignoring the tantrums isn’t working at age three, you can start to use "time-out" as a consequence.
Time-out means time away from anything reinforcing or otherwise pleasurable - like sitting on the stairs or in the corner,
or quietly on a chair. While the general rule is one minute of time-out per age of child, time-outs that are much briefer
and a matter of seconds, say 5 to 15 seconds are often MORE effective than longer time-outs. In the life of a three-year-old,
5 to 15 seconds is a long time, but it is not so long that they forget why they were sent to time-out in the first place.
The key to effectively using this strategy is to apply a brief time-out each time the behaviour occurs. It is better a brief
time-out follows at each instance of a tantrum, than only long time-out.
If tantrums persist even with the use
of time-out, ask yourself if there are other stresses in the home. Issues of illness, marital violence or discord, alcohol
or drug abuse in caregivers all can affect parenting and child behaviour. You may also want to check your child’s hearing.
Many children at this age have had a number of recurring ear infections (otitis media). With each re-occurrence of an ear
infection, fluid remains in the ear and diminishes hearing capacity. They will grow out of it, but in the meantime, your child
may actually be hard of hearing and as a result, language delayed. Therefore even though a little older, they may not hear
you or understand your verbal commands. This is something you should check out with your pediatrician.
If all the above fails, fear not, but do ask for help. Call a local parenting center, a counselor or social
worker or even your family doctor. Odds are something is going on that probably because you are so close to the problem, you
do not see. If ever you feel like spanking your child, then give yourself a break to stop yourself. Have a cup of herbal tea,
warm milk, a hot bath, or go for a walk. Do anything that works to give you a little distance and a chance to collect your
thoughts. Just be sure your child is appropriately supervised while you grab a moment alone. Sometimes this “parental
pause” is just the ticket to regain composure and reenter more effectively.
Tantrums? Follow these steps:
Check for other stresses
Ask for help
Take a break
Lastly, you can't offer too much praise, love and affection to a child. Give generously throughout the day!
The issue isn’t trust. The issue is curiosity, childhood curiosity. It is the kind of curiosity that can
either lead to good things… or danger.
The children were ages 11, 12 and 13. They came from respected families. They had never been in trouble before.
They are good students. They were caught in sex acts between themselves uncharacteristic of children their ages. They learned
their tricks from the Internet. They had seen thousands of perverse and sexually graphic images and their sheer numbers led
the children to believe this was normal. They had to try it.
Our lives have changed. With the Internet we have invited the world into our homes: the good, the bad and the
ugly. In less than seconds we can be transported around the world to see and hear things otherwise unavailable. There are
remarkable advantages. We can communicate with friends and loved ones easily. We have access to information and education.
The downside is that with any wrong turn we can be exposed to dangerous information, ideas, images, behaviour and can even
be lured to our death.
These warning signs could signal a problem for your child and the Internet:
1. Spending increased time on-line to the exclusion of other friends and prior
2. Surfing the Internet with the door closed and when you approach, you hear
a flurry of mouse-clicks as your child quickly deletes information or changes web pages.
3. An increase in sexualized behaviour or talk of adult on-line friends, particularly
if this leads to meeting unknown persons.
Think of the Internet as a big lake. There are shallow spots and deep spots. You would never throw your child
into the lake without supervision, without learning to swim or without learning of the dangerous areas. You would never let
your children swim in the dark. Like learning to swim, these strategies may protect your child from harm on the Internet:
1. Purchase and install “blocking software”. Such software prevents
targeted web sites from appearing on your computer. This tends to work better for younger children who are more apt to stumble
on a pornographic web site than search for them directly. Ask at your local computer store for a recommendation on which software
2. Keep your computer in a public area in your house such as the kitchen, family
room or hallway. Children will be embarrassed if sexual content appears and will not want to be caught in open territory with
it on the screen. Porn needs secrecy to survive. No secrecy, no porn.
3. If the computer is to remain in your child’s room, the door must be
open when the Internet is in use.
4. Check the Temporary Internet Files and History Folder on the computer. The
rule is, no deleting these files. Parents are advised to view these files periodically. These files will show you exactly
what has been viewed and which web sites were accessed. They even will show date and time. No files, no computer.
Remember, safety on the Internet is not a matter of trusting your child. It is a matter of understanding childhood
curiosity and the trouble that it can cause. It is always up to the parents to protect children from harm and learn the strategies
to do so. Our mission is to grow them up safely. This includes the Internet.
your child learn to sit on their own, or walk, or talk, or potty train?
are known as developmental milestones. Developmental milestones refer to abilities we expect children to reach within certain
age ranges. Researchers have studied developmental milestones. As a result, the age ranges that most children accomplish these
milestones are well known. If a child reaches a milestone at a younger age range than most, we say that child is ahead or
bright or gifted. If a child reaches a milestone at an age range older than most, we say that child is behind or delayed.
Different ages present different milestones. For example, a child of about two usually has a vocabulary of several dozens
words; a child of three to four years of age is generally toilet trained for both bladder and bowel.
milestones continue into the school years and beyond. For example, a child in grade one usually knows the alphabet and is
able to read simple sentences, whereas moving out of the parental home or going to university or work is a developmental milestone
for a teen or young adult. In preschool or school, comparing children to age appropriate developmental milestones can help
identify those children who may benefit from special attention. The child who is ahead may benefit from special classes to
make the most of their abilities and thus avoid boredom. On the other hand a child who is delayed may benefit from extra attention
to cope with work that is beyond their ability and frustrating. Identifying and helping the child who is ahead or behind improves
their school experience and feelings of self-worth. This in turn reduces the risk of behaviour or emotional problems later
many things that can influence a child reaching developmental milestones within expected age ranges. They include:
health of the mother and child’s birth experience
nutrition and daily care
Parents who are informed
as to normal developmental milestones can be better equipped to support their child’s development with age-appropriate
expectations. Further, if their child is not meeting the expected milestones, they can be in a better position to seek help
and make use of recommendations.
If you suspect your child
is ahead or behind other children in reaching developmental milestones, consult your physician. Your physician can determine
if there is cause for concern and can refer your child for further assessment. An assessment can determine if there is an
important difference, the source of any difference and provide recommendations to address the difference.
Early identification of significant developmental differences is best, particularly before or as a child enters school. School expectations and programs are generally geared towards the average child so early identification helps
children to obtain a more positive entry to school by putting in place strategies to better meet their needs.
you believe your child is astray of normal developmental milestones, don’t be afraid. Seek help and use the advice provided
to improve your child’s situation. Better starts make for better endings.
The above three articles courtesy of:
Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW - Executive Director
Interaction Consultants / I Promise Program
20 Suter Crescent,
Dundas, Ontario, Canada