Category: Preschoolers

7 Easy Games to Boost Your Preschooler’s Critical Thinking Skills

7 Easy Games to Boost Your Preschooler’s Critical Thinking Skills

Your little one is officially a preschooler. She’s making her way out of the impulsive toddler-zone and heading into big-girl-ness right before your very eyes. Every day is a new adventure with so much to learn, see, and do!

The first 3 years of your child’s life are all about gaining the language skills needed to question the world around them. And now that they have all the language they need to ask a MILLION questions a day, your child is ready to spend the next 3 years building his critical thinking skills.

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How to Teach Your Child Self-Control & Delayed Gratification

How to Teach Your Child Self-Control & Delayed Gratification

Kids are notoriously terrible at waiting. Patience is just not something that comes easily to young children who want everything RIGHT NOW.

With every new piece of technology that comes out, our kids become more and more dependent on instant gratification. As a society we’ve forgotten how to stick with long-term projects and reap the rewards of our patience and hard work.

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The Best Way To Solve Your Child’s Behavior Problems

The Best Way To Solve Your Child’s Behavior Problems

If you asked me a year ago what word best described my parenting, it might have been “rigid.” Being a preschool teacher for so many years had made me a little too good at setting limits and following through. It got to the point where every day with my 3-year-old son was a repeat cycle of tears and unnecessary power struggles. I found myself thinking that I couldn’t let go of one single thing because then, “He’d win.”

But one day it hit me… at what point did he and I stop being on the same team? At what point did I start controlling him instead of guiding him? Of course I should want him to “win.” I want him to win at solving problems. To win at loving others unconditionally. Most importantly, to win in our relationship.

Fast forward to now, and I’m viewing defiance and misbehavior in a whole new light.

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The 5 Worst Ways to Respond to Your Child’s Tantrum

The 5 Worst Ways to Respond to Your Child’s Tantrum

Think back to the last tantrum your child had. What do you remember about it? There’s a pretty good chance that you can’t remember what it was about, but I bet you remember “that feeling.”

You know what I’m talking about… the sick feeling in the pit of your stomach and the heat rising in your neck and cheeks. The feeling that is a cross between desperately wanting to help your child work through the pain they are experiencing, while also being so incredibly frustrated that you just want to start screaming yourself.

 

It is so difficult to remain calm when our children are having a meltdown. The most important thing to remember about tantrums are that they are a completely normal part of childhood.

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10 Things to Say to Your Child Instead of “Stop Crying”

10 Things to Say to Your Child Instead of “Stop Crying”

Have you ever seen those pictures on the internet titled “Reasons My Kid is Crying?” It’s a hilarious series of pictures of toddlers and young children having tantrums over the most ridiculous things such as “I wouldn’t let her eat raw eggs,” or “I told him he couldn’t drink my beer.”

Parenting a toddler is basically taking a walk through a minefield and waiting for the next explosion. As parents we have to be able to find some humor in the reasons our kids are crying, because otherwise we might literally go crazy. But at the end of the day, parents are always looking for the same thing: how to help our children recover from their meltdowns and build resilience over time.

Toddlers and young children lack the language, impulse control, and self-regulation skills to keep themselves calm and collected. Instead we see them whining and tantruming whenever they experience strong emotions or become overstimulated.

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The One Rule That Will Make Your Child More Polite

The One Rule That Will Make Your Child More Polite

Teaching politeness to your child is not just about instilling good manners; it’s about nurturing empathy, respect, and effective communication skills. It takes patience and consistency in your efforts to cultivate politeness, but it is a valuable trait that will serve them well throughout their lives.

From a very early age children begin learning that their words are powerful, and can use as a means of getting their needs and wants met. But when children’s words start trending towards rude and abrasive it may be time to implement this one simple rule in your home…

Children must ask a question, instead of making a demand 

A demand is made from a sense of entitlement. The child feels that they should have something, and so they say it… “I want a snack!!” “Give it to mee!!” “It’s my turn!!”

Many parents focus too much on correcting the tone of their child’s demand rather than requiring them to ask for permission. For example, if a child yells “I want a snack!,” many parents will redirect them to say “I want a snack, please” in a nicer tone of voice. Tacking on a “please” is definitely more polite, but it doesn’t address the deeper issue. 

Requiring your child to ask you a direct question has many underlying benefits, and it’s more polite. Instead of “I want a snack,” it’s, “May I have a snack please?” And instead of “It’s my turn”, its “May I have a turn?” The subtle difference in requiring your child to ask permission instead of making a demand reaffirms that the parent is in control. When your child asks for something, you as the parent can say “yes,” or you can say “no.” The parent is in charge of making the decision.

 Children are much more likely to accept a “no” when it’s in response to a question they’ve asked rather than a demand they have made

Because in the act of asking the question, the child is already prepared to hear a yes or no answer…they know that it’s a 50/50 chance.

No Nagging Needed – “Asked and Answered”

Another benefit to having your child ask permission is that it naturally shuts down nagging. A child can walk around the house demanding “I want to watch a movie” a million times, but when you require them to ask you directly “May I watch a movie?” they get a definitive answer. If the answer is “no” and they ask you again, you can simply say “asked and answered.” When parents are consistent, children learn quickly that “no” really means “no” and they stop whining and nagging.

Important Things to Note

Make sure to provide your child lots of opportunities to make age-appropriate choices throughout the day, so that they can also feel a sense of control over their environment. For example, letting your child choose what they want to wear or what kind of fruit they want with their breakfast. Children who are given the opportunity to make choices will be less likely to lash out when parents need to make tough decisions os say “no.”

Of course like any parenting strategy, it takes time to teach your child that they need to ask, rather than demand. Whenever my son makes a statement like “I need a snack now!!” I simply say, “Are you trying to ask me something?” He immediately knows to ask politely for whatever it is that he wants.

He still struggles (as most 3 year olds do) when the answer is “no,” but it’s getting better every day. The important thing to me is that he learns respect for authority. I want him to know that he needs to ask permission because we as his parents know what is best for him, even if he doesn’t understand it in the moment.

The Perfect Daily and Weekly 2-4 Year Old Schedule

The Perfect Daily and Weekly 2-4 Year Old Schedule

I’m a newbie stay at home mom, so crafting my 3-year-old’s daily schedule has been an exciting part of the adventure! Having been a preschool teacher for many years, I wanted to make sure that our days at home are balanced with enough play, rest, and active times. Here are some things to consider if you are working on crafting your daily toddler schedule:

Children love predictability and knowing what is going to come next, so it’s important to have a general rhythm to your days. With this said, don’t feel like you can’t change things up for special events and activities. Our schedule is always fluid and changes when necessary!

This is the general “flow” of our daily routine that works really well for us:

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10 First Day of Preschool Books to Help Ease Your Child’s Anxiety

10 First Day of Preschool Books to Help Ease Your Child’s Anxiety

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, please read my disclaimer here.

Your child’s first day of preschool is almost here! This is an exciting (and scary) time for both you and your little one because for many children, this is their first real experience being away from home.

As a mom, you worry about all the little things that go along with being away from your child… Will they be able to handle the separation from you? Will they play well with others? Will they like their teacher? Will they be able to do things on their own? If not, will they be able to ask for help? There’s so much that goes into becoming a preschooler!

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5 Things to Look for When Choosing A Preschool

5 Things to Look for When Choosing A Preschool

Choosing a preschool can be an extremely daunting task for parents. For many children, preschool is the very first time they are spending time away from mom or dad. While this is an important milestone for little ones, it can also be so, so scary!

As a preschool teacher (and mom) myself, I can speak first-hand to the anxiety that parents feel when they bring their child to school for the first time. Most of the time it’s mom shedding more tears than the child!

My husband and I have been very fortunate to find an in-home preschool for our 2.5 year old where he is thriving with an incredible teacher that we’ve known for years. But for parents in the midst of choosing a preschool for your child, here are 5 important factors to consider:

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Why Children Need to Take Risks in Play

Why Children Need to Take Risks in Play

Are you the laid-back parent at the park that watches your child from afar, or are you the parent that hovers close-by to make sure your child doesn’t take a spill off the play structure?

I’ll admit, I’m the latter.

When it comes to giving my child opportunities to take risks and seek adventure, I err on the side of caution. It takes a major effort for me to stand back and let my son push the boundary on his physical limits.

But early childhood research suggests that taking and managing these risks in play is an incredibly important part of a child’s development, so I’m working on keeping my anxiety in check and letting my son discover his strengths and abilities. 

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