Needing help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s essential regardless of the number of parents involved. Seeking advice, help and support from others gives you the strength you need to be a good parent.
Your kid should start brushing her own teeth as soon as she’s willing to try. You can clean them with a wet cloth or gauze until it’s time for a tooth brush. Using plain water, gently brush the teeth on both the outside and inside surfaces twice a day.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and most pediatric dentists say it’s a good idea to bring your child to a dentist around the time she turns 1 y.o., just in case there’s a problem that your family doctor missed or couldn’t diagnose. If your child still hasn’t sprouted his first tooth by 16 months, or if you notice tooth decay, mention it to your pediatrician, who will likely refer you to a dentist.
Caring for your toddler’s teeth is important and it can be a fun bonding experience.
Studies show that toddlers are sensitive to the emotional dynamics of the interactions around them.
University of Washington researchers have found that toddlers as young as 18 months engage in what they call “emotional eavesdropping” by listening and watching emotional reactions directed by one adult to another and then using this emotional information to shape their own behavior.
The UW Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences reports research that indicates infants understand other people’s emotional states at a very young age; and it may be a precursor to ‘reading’ other people’s minds by understanding their emotional and psychological states.
As children grow and develop, their need to suck typically goes away, most often by the time they are 6 to 8 years old. Also, with increases in peer pressure, children are more able to control their behavior. However, parents sometimes want this behavior to stop before peer pressure becomes an issue.
If you want to break your child’s pacifier or thumbsucking habits, the first step is to ignore them! Most often, they will disappear with time. Harsh words, teasing, or punishment may upset your child, and the habit will get worse. Punishment is not an effective way to get rid of habits.
“Does this mean I’m gay too?”
”Are going to hell?”
”Do you have AIDS?”
Our children learn by asking questions. In her 2005 book called Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Adults Tell It Like It Is, Abigail Garner tackles questions that may be asked by your kids.
Parents have two options when choosing day care for their kids: commercial day care and home care (in someone’s home). Both should be investigated carefully before enrolling your kid(s). Ask questions of the staff; talk to parents of other children at the center; look over the center carefully; and ask plenty of questions.
Mothering Magazine offers a fresh perspective on tantrums that makes parenting young children much simpler, if not easier.
You can safely and serenely allow your child to have the tantrum she is heading toward. That tantrum is necessary. It’s healthy, and it’s healing. All you need to add is your warm attention. The tantrum you permit her to have clears a jam in her mental and emotional system so she can think well again.
Saying “no” to your toddler is often necessary but it can be difficult for both of you. She doesn’t like the word, and you don’t like the results.
Parenting Magazine offers some pointers that may help.
First, replace “no” with “yes.” Try saying “We sit on the couch” instead of “No standing on furniture!” Or “Yes, you can have a cookie — right after you eat your green beans.” This helps toddlers understand the rules and may prevent a power struggle.
Specialists agree that very few children are completely potty trained when starting before the age of three; and kids trained before age two usually regress sometimes before the age of five. Many experts define complete potty training as the ability for child to go to bed in regular cloth underwear and wake up dry eight hours later.
Spanking, yelling and threatening always backfires. In response to these actions, the child will become absorbed in battle with parent and become overwhelmed. Anxiety will rise to a negative level for the toddler. And the tension can result in negative retaliation creating major challenges including switching back and forth from potty training, poor eating habits and mood swings. Using food as a reward is not a way to entice toddlers into becoming potty trained. In fact, this can lead to harmful eating habits such as using food for emotional satisfaction.
It’s a difficult process so preparing one’s children for homophobia is often delayed as long as possible. Abigail Garner offers good advice in her book, “Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Adults Tell It Like It Is”.
She says, “Understandably, adults do not want their children living in fear of harassment or facing an onslaught of hurtful message about their families. Today, more LGBT adults are taking deliberate steps to avoid exposing their children to such fears. These families have many more options to help them feel safe and affirmed than earlier generations. When it is financially practical, LGBT adults can choose to live in a gay-friendly neighborhood. If they are in a community where there are many LGBT families, they form play groups and see one another at regular events. Some families are even able to find schools where diverse families are welcomed and gay adults are commonplace. After a while, LGBT adults who are able to find a supportive environment can let themselves believe that the community they have built around them is representative of the rest of the world. They immerse themselves in gay communities where children have the freedom to live without knowing hate. It gets easier to deny that at some point their children will have the face the reality of homophobia.
Before they send their children off to school, adults should talk to them about what makes their family different, and how some people might criticize them for those differences. While it is sad to have to introduce this reality to children, it is preferable that they hear it from their adults first, in a supportive setting, before they encounter it on their own.”
Source: “Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Adults Tell It Like It Is” by Abigail Garner, HarperCollins: Families Like Mine