The Four B’s
Kids under 2 yrs: Bath, Breast, Book, then Bed
Kids 2 to 6 yrs: Bath, Brush (teeth & hair), Book then Bed
Brushing Your Toddler’s Teeth
Your self-determined toddler can sometimes present a challenge when it comes to brushing her teeth. Try this: Sit on the floor cross-legged, placing your child on her back, resting herself on your leg. You are now looking down at her, while she is looking up at you. Let your child brush your teeth while you brush hers. You’ll get loads of cooperation, as well as a good look at those molars!
Getting Children to Listen the First Time
When children do not seem to pay attention or listen to what you are saying, you may find yourself repeating everything you ask, often raising your voice with each repetition. Instead, the first time that you calmly make your request, make sure that your child has direct eye contact with you. Then, ask him to repeat what you said so that you know he understood. Sometimes, this will prevent the familiar cycle of repeating yourself!
As concerned parents, it’s hard for us to not plead with our picky eater to “please eat one more bite”. Yet, this approach often leads to frustration and resistance. Change your focus. Instead of putting food on his plate in quantity that you think he will eat, put one bite of each item on his plate. When he asks for more, give him more from your own plate or a family platter. It’s a wonderful opportunity to encourage rather than discourage!
When to Learn About Rules
The most difficult time for a child to learn a rule is when it has been broken. Instead, try to establish a rule before there is an opportunity to break it. For example, telling a child to stop running by a swimming pool immediately sets up a conflict. An explanation of the rule upon arrival at the pool allows communication of it before the conflict arises. This is not to say that there won’t be a discussion of adhering to the rules later!