This is a challenging task for many parents! A simple guide is: parents provide the food for toddlers and toddlers decide what they will eat!
Many children refuse to try new foods – try not to force the issue as power struggles over food are not pleasant for parent or child.
Sometimes we may have unrealistic expectations about when, how and what children should eat. For example, we may want them to eat with the family – but sometimes toddlers are too tired by 6pm or later to be eating a big meal.
Keep the main goals in mind: we want our children to eat nutritious food when they are hungry; we want mealtimes to be a happy, social time for the family; and finally, we want them to eat safely – this means, sitting down, being supervised and not eating foods that are too hard for them so as to avoid choking.
For more specific guidelines about recommended dietary requirements for toddlers, go to www.parenting.sa.gov.au – Parent Easy Guide No.21 – Remember: small stomachs need small amounts of food, often!
We have the course for you! Beginning on Tuesday mornings for 3 weeks we will discuss how to:
- discipline children without arguing, yelling or smacking
- encourage kids to start doing the things you want them to do and
- stop doing the things that drive you crazy (such as constant debating and arguing)
May 20th, 27th, June 3rd from 10.00-12noon
Galilee Catholic Primary School
Quinliven Rd, Aldinga
Creche is available!
Is this really possible? We don’t believe so – however, there are ways that we as parents can help children deal with the intense feelings siblings have toward each other.
When a second baby comes into the family, it is sometimes compared to our partner bringing a new lover into the home! This new person takes up an incredible amount of time and attention from the people/person who was the first child’s alone – a huge adjustment for anyone. No amount of cajoling about how great it will be for them to have a playmate (in 12 months time or longer) can make up for this change in position in the family.
One of the most important ways to positively respond to a sibling’s angry feelings toward their brother/sister is to accept their anger. By this we mean, comments such as “yes it must be really hard for you when I need to feed ‘Lucy’ and you want me to play with you”. No adding explanations such as “but Lucy’s only a little baby, she can’t feed herself”. As rational as this is, we need primarily to let our child know we understand their FEELINGS and that these feelings are perfectly normal.
A new smartphone app has been launched to help young people and parents better understand the law around sexting, cyberbullying and the age of consent. Developed by Victorian Legal Aid, the app can only currently be used on Android devices but will soon be available on iphones. The app is an engaging and interactive way for young people to be more aware of the risks involved in sending and receiving sexual photographs or cyberbullying.
“Below the Belt: Sex, Selfies and Cyberbullying” can help us all understand that our digital footprint lasts a lifetime!
Which boundaries are negotiable and which are not? Are both parents on the same page?
When is my child old enough to have a mobile phone? Go to the park alone?
Often our own experiences growing up affect our ideas about boundary-setting and whether we want to do it the same or differently. Society has changed as well and children have access to the world via technology.
There are no simple answers to these questions, but talk to other parents and share your thoughts. Safety needs to be paramount, but so does allowing our children to make mistakes and learn. Decide what the non-negotiables are (which will need to be renegotiated over time!) and explain these to your child. Some parents find writing up the family rules to be helpful. Discuss the issues with your child that you are prepared to negotiate on and let them know what behaviours you would need to observe that would let you know they are ready for more freedom. When mistakes are made, renegotiate.
Children are much more likely to respect the boundaries if we are in a trusting relationship with them. This respect is earned from our positive role-modelling and honest communication.