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Parents' Corner
 
Parenting Tips
 
Promoting Independence
1. Expect More: Most people have a way of living up or playing down their expectations ---   preschoolers included. At school, we expect the kids to pour their own water, to throw away their plates, to hang up their jackets --- and they do. But once they walk out of their classroom, the thumb goes in the mouth and they climb into the strollers. Parents have to raise the bar and your child will probably stretch to meet it.
   
2. Resist doing for them what they can do for themselves:  While it will be quicker and easier to do it yourself, it will help to make your child more self-sufficient. Appeal to their sense of pride. Parents have often observed that whenever they are dressing their children, putting their jackets on, sitting on chairs during meals, if they are given a choice whether they would like parents to help them or they can do it themselves, in most of the cases the kids want to do it themselves.
   
3. Do not redo what they have done:  If your child makes his bed, resist the urge to smooth the blankets. If she dresses herself in stripes and polka dots, compliment her ‘eclectic style’.
   
4. Let them solve simple problems:  If you see your child trying to assemble a toy or get a book from a shelf that she can reach, if she stands on a footstool, pause before racing to help her. Provided they are safe, when you give your children a moment to solve things for themselves, these are the character-building moments and enables them to experience success.
   
5. Assign a chore:  Putting your preschooler in charge of a regular, simple task that will build her confidence and sense of competency. Just ensure that the chore you assign is manageable and that it’s real work, not busywork, since even preschoolers know the difference. The goal is to make your child feel like a capable, contributing member of the family.
 
Winning Cooperation
1. Praise is the key: Praise is very important, especially if your child is not in a cooperative phase. Try to catch her being good. Kids repeat behaviors that get attention.
   
2. Develop predictable routines: Kids cooperate in nursery because they know what is expected from them. Children follow essentially the same routine day after day, so they quickly learn what they are supposed to be doing and after a while they barely need reminding.
   
3. Lighten up: If your child refuses to do something, try turning it into a game. Humor and games are two good strategies that parents forget about in the heat of the moment. For example, a parent told us, she used to persuade her son to put his shoes on in the morning by playing a game, “Welcome to Miss Mommy’s Shoe Store, I have the perfect pair for you to try on today”. Another parent has told us to get his son to Brush his teeth in the morning, he played the game, "Let’s Guess What You Ate Today" game ---- and he willingly opened his mouth so the parent can search his molars for cereal, strawberries, or macaroni and cheese.
   
4. Warn of Transitions: If your child pitches a fit, whenever you announce it’s time to switch gears - whether that means shutting off the TV, stopping play to come eat, or leaving a friend’s house ---- it could be that you are not giving enough advance notice. At nursery, we let kids know when transitions are coming so they have time to finish whatever they are doing.
   
5. Use sticker charts and reward judiciously: If your child is always working for the reward, he won’t learn the real reasons for doing things ----- that he should pick his toys because family members pitch in. The best thing is to reserve rewards for finite endeavors, such as potty training, but avoid offering them help for everyday things, such as dressing himself and brushing his teeth.
   
6. Give structured choices: If your 3 year old refuses to sit at the table, you might offer the choice of sitting and getting dessert ---- or not sitting and missing out on a treat. At first, your child may not make the right choice, but eventually will, because he’ll see that the wrong choice isn’t getting him what he wants.
   
7. Prioritize Play: Preschool teachers say it repeatedly that kids today are less able to play imaginatively than kids of a decade or two ago, as too much of their play is structured around supervised activities. As a parent it is not your job to keep your child entertained 24/7. Let them get a little bored. But make sure they have items like dress- play clothes, paint and paper, a big cardboard box, play dough etc.
   
8. Do it to music: There’s a reason the “cleanup” song works. If you set a task to music then suddenly it is fun for them.
   
9. Encourage Team work: If your child is fighting over a toy with another child, set a timer for five minutes. Tell one child, he can have the toy until he hears the buzzer, then it will be the other child’s turn.
   
10. Let your child work out minor squabbles: Instead of swooping in to settle disputes, stand back and let the kids work it out (unless of course they are hitting each other). You won’t always be there to rescue your child.
 
Discipline Effectively
1. Redirect: If your preschooler is jumping on the couch or grabbing for his big sister’s dolls, distract him by asking if he’d like to draw picture or read a short story together.
   
2. Prevent good-bye meltdowns: If your child is nervous about spending time apart, give him something tangible to remind him of you. Let him carry your picture, kiss a tissue or cut out a paper heart and put it in his pocket. Having something physical to touch may help him to feel less anxious – and prevent a tantrum.
   
3. Involve your child in righting his/her wrongs: If you find her coloring on walls, have her help wash it off. If he knocks over a playmate’s block tower, ask him to help rebuilt it.
 
Dealing with Aggression
1. Divert their focus and get them interested in different hobbies.
   
2. Allow them to settle their own quarrels, unless they become too destructive/hurt each other.
   
3. Give children time limit to arrive at a solution regarding their problems. Make sure they know about the rules and the consequences of hitting. If children are not able to resolve their issues enforce the consequences you have agreed upon.
   
4. Praise children when they have worked out a problem of their own.
 
Dealing with Common Fears in Preschoolers
1. Small children cry, hide and try to escape from a scary situation. Do not force the child to do something that is scary to him. Convey that you understand the child.
   
2. Do not tease and ridicule the child. Do not say “there is nothing to be scared of”. Give the child something that will help him feel stronger and having some power over the fear.
   
3. Prompt familiarity with the feared object without forcing. Example - Teaching the child to enjoy water play if he is scared of water.
   
4. Allow child to observe others who show no fear in the feared situation.
 
Dealing with Children Talking back
1. Give only mild punishment. You can isolate the child for a few minutes when he threatens his siblings or friends.
   
2. Avoid situations that cause prolonged frustration.
   
3. Be a good role model for your child. You cannot control children who are hitting by slapping them or intimidating them.
   
4. Take interest in the child and meet his needs with patience and understanding.
   
5. Use time-out techniques ---- remove the child from whatever activity he is doing, for a short time.
 
Dealing with Shyness
1. Accepting the child as he is. Do not make him feel guilty.
   
2. Give the child affection and attention and make him feel secured.
   
3. Give responsibility to your child by asking him to clean the table, or put away his toys.
   
4. Provide for successful and satisfying activities.
   
5. Listen to your child carefully without being busy in another activity and make positive comments.
   
6. Give the child freedom to explore, experiment and create.
   
7. Do not over-protect the child.
   
8. Avoid calling the child ‘shy’
   
9. Do not tease or mimic your child.
 
Dealing with a child’s Tantrums and Angry Outbursts
1. Do not say “No” to the child unless absolutely necessary. Instead, give him a suitable choice. For example, when the child insists on buying a new toy, ask him to make suitable choice. For example, when the child insists on buying a new toy, ask him whether he would like to go to the playground or watch cartoon on TV.
   
2. Distract attention to an interesting object.
   
3. Keep calm and appear composed even if you are upset.
   
4. Show lack of interest and indifference to the outburst. Ignore the child and continue to work.
   
5. Do not give in, “Be Firm” on your decisions. The child should know what you mean what you say and say what you mean.
   
6. Do not soothe, argue, shout, hit or reason with the child. While he is angry, he will not listen.
   
7. If the child becomes destructive, hold firmly till he becomes calm.
   
8. When the tantrums stops, welcome the child with open arms.
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