Friday, February 25, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
No other phase of childhood is so misunderstood, misnamed or mistakenly maligned as the notorious “terrible twos’. To begin with, the behavior patterns that distinguish this period are not restricted to two year olds, being found in children from the age of 18 months or even younger, right up into the preschool years. This is evidently displayed by this photograph next to this heading. The behavior of a child at this stage of development hardly deserves to be termed terrible, however irrepressible, unpredictable and, at times, even unlikable it may be.
In fact, for parents who understand what lies behind their child’s erratic actions, the so called “terrible twos” may be viewed as a kind of birth – the birth of an independent social being. The child enters this stage a baby, so totally dependent for every physical and psychological need that she is practically an extension of her parents. Within the year or so, she emerges as a separate person, capable of making decisions, asserting her will and, relatively speaking, taking care of herself.
To guide a youngster through these remarkable terrible twos terrific transformation is a moving and memorable experience, if often an exhausting one. As these pictures indicates, a child of two or thereabouts sets a dizzyingly fast pace of instantly changing moods, intermingling enthusiastic bursts of activity with quiet withdrawal, sweet compliance with stubborn negativism, joyful interest with tired or angry tears.
By watching closely to learn what causes such the terrible twos terrific emotional swings in your child, you can take steps to ease the struggle for independence, help build her confidence and ensure that the happy times predominate. In addition to insight, you will need a healthy portion of patience, a firm will and if he is typical, a great deal of stamina and a comforting pair of arms.
Monday, February 14, 2011
When a tantrum erupts, stay calm. It is frightening for a child to lose control of herself and even scarier if a grown up follows suit. Do not try to reason with her, and do not argue, Scream back or threaten punishment. If your child is given to mild tantrum behavior, your best bet is to ignore it by turning your back, possibly even leaving the room. You are telling her that this outburst has no effect on you. Under no circumstances should your ward your child for this behavior- by offering candy in hopes of diverting her, for instance- or reveal that the tantrum upsets you. If you, you are likely to see more, not less, of it.
However, if a tantrum is so severe that you think your child might actually injure herself or another child, you should gently but firmly pick her up and move her away from the Scene. It is best to stay with her, either holding her in your arms or simply remaining close by, until the emotions have subsided. With violent tantrums, many experts feel a child’s need for support and comfort outweighs any concerns the parent might have about encouraging such behavior.
Few moments are so embarrassing for parents as when their children throw tantrums on the playground or in a department store, but you should not let the oh-you-cruel mother stares from passersby induce you into special handling. Your child needs your firmness and control now more than ever. If possible, pick her up and move her away from the source of stimulation. If not, stand your ground by holding her firmly until the outburst is over.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
When your child has to struggle to master a task or makes a demand that you refuse to meet, he feels frustrated by his helplessness. Sometimes his frustration and anger well us suddenly and uncontrollably, and he erupts in a spontaneous display of emotion that alarms him as much as it does you. In the classic temper tantrum, familiar to generation after generation of parents but nonetheless disturbing to any grownup who is confronted with one, the child screams, kicks and flails widely about. He may fling toys or other objects. Some children hold their breath until they turn blue in the face, in an effort to frighten their parents. Usually within a few minutes, the outburst ends and the child’s sunny disposition returns.
Temper tantrums occur most frequently between the ages of one and three. More than half of all two year olds have tantrums once or twice a week. If your toddler is active, energetic and determined, he may be particularly prone to tantrums. The ignition points for each child are different, but most children will explode into a tantrum when frustrated, hungry, overtired or over excited. Tantrum behavior decreases as children mature psychologically and are able to express their protests verbally.
Friday, February 4, 2011
Making her own decisions is another way in which your child asserts her independence. Sometimes she finds it easy to do, and once she makes up her mind, she stands firm. She wants to wear her mittens on a warm summer day, despite all your arguments as to why she should not. By all means, let her. Unless she has freedom to make wrong decisions- short of those that are dangerous or that are obnoxious to others- she will never learn how to make decisions at all.
At other times you will observe that decision making, particularly for the toddler, becomes upsetting, even painful, because many of her own feelings are still a mystery to her. Perhaps you give her choice of going to the post office with you or staying at home with the other parent. As soon as you offer these alternatives, your child becomes confused and tense. With her short memory and few similar experiences to draw upon, she does not know which choice she would enjoy more, and having to decide torments her. Children are much more comfortable with questions such as “which candy do you want to eat first?” Since they know that they will soon get to eat both.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Saying “no”, just like saying “me” and “mine”, is a powerful way for children to assert their separateness. By disagreeing with whatever you are proposing, your child brings you up short and forces you to treat her as an individual. Some toddlers say no so relentlessly that they even say it when what they really mean is yes.
All young children go through such periods of negativism. They will ignore direct questions, do the opposite of what they are told and dawdle when they sense that Mother is in particular hurry. At the sometime that they are bolstering their autonomy with this behavior, they are also testing the rules to determine what is expected of them and learning how to create boundaries for themselves. Negativism usually peaks around the third birthday. Its intensity and form of expression varies from child to child. Your child is most likely to rebel at mealtime, bath time or bedtime, or whenever you issue a command.
Try to manage your dealings with your child to reduce the opportunities for personal clashes. When you must assert your will, try suggesting, “Let’s do something else,” rather than flatly declaring, “No, doesn’t do that”. Avoid asking questions such as “Do you want to take your bath now?” that automatically elicit a negative response.
Try using games to accomplish a task or to get through a touchy situation. When you want your child to pick up toys, offer a challenge let’s see how fast we can get these toys back into the box. “Knowing the potential problem areas- cleaning up, taking a nap or eating lunch- you can steer your youngster around them without his sensing your guidance.