FROM BREAKFAST TO BEDTIME
Helping you and your toddlerthrough the day!
This leaflet was sponsored by the Welsh Assembly Government
Original text by Sophie Linington, Anne Page and Gill Keep,with thanks for assistance from: Tesco; ChristineBidmead, Community Practitioners and Health VisitorsAssociation (CPHVA); Dr Stephen Scott, Reader in ChildHealth and Behaviour & Consultant Child and AdolescentPsychiatrist; Anne Saville, National Council for One ParentFamilies (NCOPF); Eileen Hayes, Parenting AdvisorNSPCC; Parentline Plus Funded by DoH Sept 2003.
Children in Wales is the Nationalumbrella childrens organisation inWales, bringing organisations andindividuals together to:
Make the United Nations Conventionon the Rights of the Child a reality in Wales
Fight for sustainable quality servicesand fair shares for all children andyoung people
Ensure special attention andtreatment for children in need
Give children and young people a voice
Children in Wales works in partnershipwith the National Childrens Bureau inEngland and Children in Scotland, andworks internationally with Eurochildand The International Forum for ChildWelfare.
Children in Wales has worked inpartnership with the National Familyand Parenting Institute.
The National Family and ParentingInstitute is an independent charity setup to enhance the value and qualityof family life.
1Being a parent to a young child who isfull of energy can be a roller coasterride of amazing moments and tearingyour hair out! All parents know thegood times with their children; it maybe just that todays busy lifestylesmake them harder to see.
Understanding your childs needs andhow to meet them will help you havemore of the ups and less of the downs.
This booklet focuses on positiveparenting, encouraging children to feelgood about themselves and promotinggood behaviour through establishingroutines and setting boundaries.
Difficult times are more likely tohappen when children are bored orfrustrated. How you respond to themand how you are feeling cansometimes turn a simple task into abattle of wills. Obviously, these cantalways be avoided but a few, simpleideas may help you and your childrento have more of the good times!
Parents of disabled children may faceadditional challenges and pressures,which cannot be addressed within thisbooklet. However, there are details oforganisations that may be able to helpin the Contacts section.
Growing Up 3
Self Confidence 5
Meltdown Moments 6
Early Evening to Bedtime 8
Looking After Yourself 9
More Help & Contacts 10
If children really get into an activity,they are less likely to be posting theremote control in the bin or wrestlingwith a brother or sister!
If youve got a lot to do in a shortspace of time, set up an activity thatwill give you that all important extrahalf an hour:
Painting, drawing and colouringEven very young children enjoycreating works of art and themessier the better! Put downnewspaper and cover up clothes toprotect them and cut down ontidying up.
WaterA washing up bowl of water and acouple of cups can keep a toddlerbusy for ages. Water activities needadult supervision.
ImaginationGet out some teddies and dolls andcreate a tea party or set up a zoomade up of all sizes and shapes oftoys let their imagination run wild.
Join inOnce youve got everything out ofthe way, take five minutes to getinto what your child is doing showthem that what theyre doing isimportant.
Keep it simpleIf this all sounds too complicatedand time consuming, try to keep abox of toys, crayons and play doughhandy and make the most of bathtime for playing with a couple ofcups and a sponge.
Childrens needs and levels ofunderstanding change as they growand what might be expected of a fouryear old cant be expected of a twoyear old:
ExploringYoung children find out about theirworld by touching, shaking, tasting, pouring, squeezing the list is endless!
This isnt naughtiness, but a way oflearning about their world. Makeyour home toddler proof by tryingto store valuables and breakablesaway from your child so they canexplore safely.
The mess of life with a toddler canbe exhausting, but think of all thelearning theyre doing!
IndependencePart of growing up for your toddlerwill be testing boundaries andbecoming an individual. You canhelp them by letting them do asmuch for themselves as possible store toys at child height, let themchoose their clothes, and give finger food.
EncouragementYour child will learn whats OK to dofrom you so give lots of praise andattention to good behaviour tryyoure using your spoon reallywell instead of stop making sucha mess.
If you only pay attention to your childwhen they misbehave, theyll learnto misbehave to get your attention.
Talking and listening to your child helpsthem to understand whats going on:
LanguageTell your child what you want themto do, not what you dont want themto do instead of dont make such amess, try tidy up your toys please.
RespectChildren learn from what you do andsay. If you want your children to bepolite and respectful, think aboutwhat you say and how you say it raising your voice will have themshouting back, and put downs arentgood for anyones self confidence.
ExplainingIf you have to sayno give your childa good reason andoffer an alternative- Rosie is playingwith the doll now,lets find youanother toy.
ListeningYour child is trying out her newlanguage and needs to be heard.Have a conversation with her even if it feels a bit one sided attimes shell get a lot out of it andlearn about talking to others.
Try getting down to her level shellfind it easier to talk (and listen) toyou if youre not towering over her.
FeelingsHelp your childs frustrations bytrying to put how theyre feeling intowords - youre really angry that youhave to go in your buggy now, butyoull be able to get out when wereat the park.
Building your childs self confidence willhelp them to try out new things, makefriends and manage the upsets andproblems they meet as they grow up:
Finding out: Give your child thechance to face new experiencesand challenges with your support.
Love: Tell your child that you lovethem and show them by smiling,cuddling and kissing.
Independence: Dont try and solveevery problem for your child sorting it out for themselves can bea boost to their confidence.
Praise: As a general rule, try andgive five times more praise thancriticism.
Yourself: If you feel your confidencecould do with a boost, try listing allthe things you like about yourself.
Most parents walk the line betweenbeing too harsh and too soft everyday.Thinking about how you are as aparent and how you react in differentsituations can help you have an evenbetter relationship with your child.
All children are different what workswith one child does not always suit abrother or sister in the same family.Children have different temperaments.Some are easy-going and will soonjoin in activities; some are slow towarm up and need gentle persuasion,while others find things more dauntingand may not join in at all.
Even with good intentions there arestill times that are difficult for everyfamily usually when theres too muchto do in a short space of time or whenwhat you need to do clashes withwhat your child wants to do.
The Morning Rush
I try to get clothes out and make uptheir packed lunches the night before it gives me a bit of extra time in themorning.
Getting them to do a bit forthemselves always helps, even if itsjust getting a bowl and spoon. Theyfeel like theyre helping and its oneless thing for me to do.
Come on,come on,HURRY UP!
Other things to try:
If you have to be at work at acertain time see if you can negotiatemore flexible hours for instancegoing in later, leaving later. If thatsnot possible, try getting up a littleearlier to avoid the rush.
Be the first to get up and have fiveminutes on your own for a quickcoffee.
Ask older children to pack their ownbag and say thanks when they do.
Establish a morning routine andmake sure everyone knows what itis and what they should do.
I need to get
you washed and dressed, get your
breakfast, make the packed lunches,
get ready for work, leave a note
for the milkman, put the cat out,
defrost tonights dinner
Butits mine, get
your own, I dontwant you to have it,I havent finished
I want it!
At the Supermarket Checkout
I try and find something else tointerest her before we get to thecheckout sometimes I even sing justto keep her from asking for sweets!
When hes sitting in the trolley I passhim things to put on the counter andhe really likes that.
Other things to try:
Give your child something to lookforward to once the boring shoppingis out of the way a trip to thepark, a video when you get home.
If your child does have a tantrum,trying to find a solution or reasoningwith her may not help she couldbe too upset to listen. Try and ridethe storm, keeping your child fromhurting themselves and waiting untilthey are calmer before trying to doanything else.
I put his favourite toy away whenother kids come round it saves themf