Emergency Anger Management Skills

Until you are well along on your journey to achieving earned security, you will most likely need to use certain tricks to help you handle the intense emotion of anger. As you get more in touch with your emotions and find yourself less triggered by problem behaviors in your child, you will find it less necessary to use these anger management techniques. These techniques will do little to prevent the intense feelings of anger that may well up within you (the steps in the previous section will...

Learning Disorders

Preschoolers with learning disorders sometimes have an inability to understand the information that is presented to them by their preschool teachers. They may suffer from their visual, language, attention, or memory deficits. Sometimes these deficits are a result of their medical conditions such as lead poisoning, exposure to alcohol as a fetus, or a genetic condition called Fragile X Syndrome. While toddlers and preschoolers rarely receive the formal diagnosis of learning disorder (because...

Single Parenting

A popular TV psychologist recently said three groups of people were the unsung and underappreciated heroes of our time teachers, nurses, and single moms. I couldn't agree more Single parenting must be the most difficult job in the world to do right. A single parent who has a strong healthy available extended family, tons of supportive friends, adequate financial resources to be able to leave work when necessary or desired, and a realistic, non-contentious relationship with the other biological...

So What Is the Truth about This Debate

The truth, as in most things in life, lands pretty close to the middle. Trying to define a child's behaviors strictly by her genetics or her environment is like trying to define a cube strictly by its height or width. Six factors have an impact on a child's behaviors. Three of these factors are from the nature side (temperament, inherited vulnerability, and certain medical conditions) and three are from the nurture side (the quality of the parent-child attachment from birth, the presence,...

Parenting in the Face of Bitter Parental Fighting Separation or Divorce

Every year more than a million new children in the nation experience a divorce between their parents. Although many of these children will adapt well, about a quarter of them will develop mental health or adjustment problems (including academic, social, and behavior problems). This is about twice the rate of children from intact families. Bitter parental fighting, domestic violence, separations, and divorces cause serious life stresses with enormous impact on toddlers and preschoolers....

Nurture and Maintain a Healthy Relationship between the Parents

Parents are the center of the universe for their young children. For you, though, the marriage relationship between mom and dad should be center stage, not the wants of the kids. A healthy respectful relationship between mother and father is essential for the well-being and mental health of children. When parents forget to take care of themselves and their relationship, they put their kids at risk. From their early toddler years, children need to learn that their parents have a private life...

Day Care Stresses

A recent government study found that by the age of three, more than two-thirds of toddlers and preschoolers have spent a sub stantial amount of time in the care of someone other than their parents. Many children begin their experience in day care at the age of three months. The average number of hours of day care for toddlers and preschoolers is about 33 hours a week. Government researchers have found (after correcting for various factors known to affect the parent-child bond) that the more...

Allow Your Kids to Experience and Handle Frustration

The real world contains tons of frustrations that every adult, even hugely successful adults, must deal with every day. Healthy adults have learned how to tolerate frustration and persevere in spite of it. This is a necessary quality for adults that children must learn when they are young. How do we introduce our kids to a frustration that is good for them Well, to begin with, many parents today give their children much more than they can ever expect to get as adults. Adults rarely achieve or...

Achieving a Sense of Earned Security

Making the decision to rid yourself of some of your old baggage so you will feel less triggered and angry is an enormous accomplishment in itself. If you are ready to make that decision, the following three steps will help you become more aware of yourself so you can get rid of the intense emotions that are running (and ruining) your life as a parent. Through these you can achieve a sense of earned security that will allow you to feel calmer, happier, and more content with your relationships....

Do Not Try to Keep Your Child Happy

Some of the unhappiest children I have ever worked with come from families where the parents have told me they believed it was their role to keep their kids happy. Too often, when we try to keep a child happy we do this because we can't stand to see them unhappy. This is unwise. Children need to understand that the real world will cause them to be unhappy many times and that they need to learn to express their genuine emotions about their pain rather than covering it up or avoiding it. The...

Communicate to Promote Your Childs Emerging Being

How we talk to our children can make a huge difference in how our child perceives and learns to function in the real world. In many ways, almost everything we say to our children is a teaching conversation. It is through these conversations that they learn how to appraise their thoughts, feelings, actions, and plans. Many parents are unaware of how they really talk to their children. If you need a reality check, put a tape recorder in the room with you and your child and listen to it later...

Handle Your Kids the Way the World Will

Well-meaning parents who give their child virtually whatever he wants are not raising a child with the values and skills neces sary for a successful fulfilled life. Such children often suffer tremendously from culture shock when they leave their parents' artificial home environment (where they are required to contribute and achieve very little) and enter a real world that demands a tolerance for frustration and perseverance that overindulged children lack. Being real means you teach your child...

How Soon Can I Start to Discipline

By the age of nine months, your baby is smarter than almost every other creature on earth. Before she is a year old, she is more intelligent than the family dog, and the dog is fully capable of learning to sit, stay, and come here. Even if your child has a very limited vocabulary, she can still understand disciplinary actions that include absolutely no words. For example, if your child throws her bottle and you are tired of retrieving it, merely remove it. If she won't sit in her high chair,...

Jealousy and Not Sharing

For kids, jealousy is one of the base human emotions that appear when there is more than one child in the family. It is important to understand that jealousy among siblings is a forever and powerful force that is always present. About the only time jealousy disappears from siblings is when the parents are gone or not available for a broad variety of reasons (death, absence, dysfunction, sickness, etc.). If you don't understand why your first-born child might feel jealous when a new baby comes...

Give Your Child What He Needs Not What He Wants

Having the gimmes is reaching epidemic proportions in our country and parents are both contributing to this disease and falling victim to its symptoms. Parents often incorrectly believe that if they don't give their children everything they want, they are depriving them. Loving authority figures want their children to be happy. It is essential, however, to think of your child's wants as entirely different from her needs. She needs the things covered by Principles 1 and 2 touch, eye contact,...

Accept Your Childs Emerging Independence

Perhaps the hardest realization in all of parenting is the bittersweet acknowledgment that if we do our job correctly, our children will have the strength and confidence to leave us to live their own lives and make their own decisions. This realization requires a very difficult journey for many parents. At the beginning of their lives, their children have an intense and complete physical closeness and dependency upon them. For many parents, this feels overwhelmingly good. Some parents feel...

Adoptive Parenting

Parenting an adopted child can be a wonderful experience, but it is almost always more difficult than parenting one's own biological children. In addition to the problems, challenges, and stresses inherent in raising a child, there are additional potential complications such as unknown genetic influences, the reality of the biological parents' existence, grief and loss related to the adoptive experience for both the child (over losing his biological parents) and the parents (over giving up the...

Mood Disorders

This category includes Depression Disorder and Bipolar Disorder (BD). Both Depression Disorder and Bipolar Disorder are two common psychiatric mood diagnoses with a strong component of inherited vulnerability. Children whose parents have a history of a bipolar disorder, severe mood swings, serious depression, or a history of going for long periods without sleep are at particularly high risk. Adult depressive disorders are characterized by having a depressed mood or having a loss of interest or...

Nail Biting Thumb Sucking and Extensive Use of a Pacifier

All babies suck their thumb or fingers. The habit is routine for infants and toddlers. Many preschoolers suck their thumbs or fingers (though by the age of four only one in six preschoolers does). There are few if any reasons to be concerned about this. Most dentists reassure their parents that there is no negative effect of thumb or finger sucking on your child's dental health until permanent teeth come in at age six or seven. Think of thumb or finger sucking as an excellent way your child has...