Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Bath Time Fun with Babies

One of the most blissful times for babies is bath time when the child enjoys a warm bath brimming with bubbles. This is especially true for toddlers who love to splash mom or dad before going to bed. While parents or caregivers usually enjoy the toddler's bathing, many cases of concerned parents are seen especially the complaining mom who is worried about her kid trying to climb out of the bathtub while she takes a jiffy to reach for the shampoo. Yet other moms find their kids turning petrified of having their hair washed. Some do show tears and tantrums and the bath-giver has to yield. Many of these toddlers would rather eat spinach than having their hair shampooed, their nails trimmed, or their teeth brushed. Since kids must get themselves dirty and parents or caregivers must wash them clean, bath time is inevitable. To make this time fun rather than tears, some points of import are described below.

Acting Practically

A key point to make bath time free of tears is to make sure you have everything in reach. Do not leave things like shampoo or nail scissors etc. out of reach even if they would take only a couple of seconds to get for use. The child is likely to make a quick getaway attempt in the brief time you take to hand an item. When it is time to wash their hair, remember that toddlers are often as afraid of water pouring on their head as they are of getting their eyes irritate with soap. It makes things less painful for the kid if you brush the locks through before shampooing. This is helpful in detangling the hair. Use a shampoo that has a no-tears formula. Use a hand-held shower spray for extra control. For comfort and protection, put a flannel over the toddler's eyes. Since nails are the easiest to cut at bath time for they are soft then, it is the ideal time to get your baby's nails clipped. Use baby scissors or small clippers to cut the nails, either in the tub or afterwards. If the child resists to baby scissors or clippers, try an emery board.

Leaving the Kid a Go

Often the child's drive for independence is the source of the caregiver's irritation. But in several cases, allowing the baby to take control of the situation quells his/her fussiness. Let the baby help you rub in the shampoo or make bubbles in the bath. You may encourage the child to clean his/her own face. You can then take your turn to finish things off. If you find your toddler steadfastly resisting brushing his/her teeth, buy three different brushes and allow the kid to make his/her choice. Kids may pick a different one on different occasions (that is what kids are like!) so let them have their way. Before you take over, let the child brush his/her teeth. If the resistance continues, try to coax him/her into brushing teeth by promising that he/she can brush yours afterwards.

Making a Game of Bathing

Kids normally love to play and all situations, bathing included, are more fun to them if they are made to look like a game. To tackle the toddler's possible anti-bathing tantrums, make use of the role-playing opportunities that you will find on tap at bath time. For example, you can take the role of a hairdresser. You can make up a funny style to say to your baby girl, 'Now, dear madam what shampoo would you like for your hair?' and ask if the temperature of the water is easy for her, what style she would like after the hair is washed, and so on. A luring way for washing her hair is to let her do her doll's hair while you are busy with hers. Another fun game is Dentists. Let your child look into the mirror while you clean his/her teeth. Give a tooth-by-tooth commentary to amuse the kid. Try to make her laugh by doing things like brushing his/her nose or chin as if by a mistake. Trim the toddler's nails while playing This Little Piggy or any other amusing piece. Put a mirror at the end of the bath so that the child can watch making soapy funny hair sculptures. The trick is to create a situation that offers the kid lots of fun. You then get the cooperation and also the fun!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Sharing Problem in Children

Sharing one's possessions is an important quality that helps in effective social interaction both in childhood and adult life. However, learning to share is one of the hardest phases for the child to pass. Often you would notice parents who wonder whether their child would ever stop battling over his toys. The fact is that even the nicest children have sharing problems at some point in their growth. And of course, it is not a hopeless situation.

As babies, sharing comes natural to many a child. Babies would handle their rattle or their half-chewed food to parents or anyone else, especially to familiar faces. This is a cute way of communicating and bonding at this stage. This readiness to share changes when the babies enter the toddler stage. The child now starts swiping toys from other children and screams if his/her possessions are touched by others. Psychologists believe that this problem is rooted in the fact that the child is starting to understand and use language; sharing things for communication thus becoming less important for him. Also, the kid is becoming wiser, learning that some of the shared things do not come back. If a new baby arrives and reaches the stage to help him/herself to the elder kid's possession, the generosity of the owner dampens.

At the age of about two and a half years, children start to grow territorial, becoming aware of what belongs to whom. It is a positive, though difficult, stage as the child develops a sense of identity.

Psychologists believe that parents do play an important role in strengthening the child's feeling not to share his/her things. Children learn that parents or grown ups dislike their kids' sharing certain things like a piece of dirt or rotten food from the garbage. In many cases, parents' reaction is cross if their kid shares his/her coat or some other thing, especially of a higher value. The negative reaction of the parent or caregiver tends to inhibit the child's tendency to share at all. At the age of about three years, the child understands enough of the parents' language to give them a chance to help him/her learn sharing. If you are a parent or caregiver concerned about the sharing problem of your child, the following ways will guide you nurture the urge to share in your kid.

The most practical way to help your child learn sharing is by example. Offer him/her a taste of the sandwich you are eating. Let him/her see you sharing your possessions with other children or adults. Also, ask if you can play with his/her toys. Sharing children grow in sharing families.

Tell your child in simple words why sharing is nice. If another child (or even grown up) starts to play with your kid's toy, explain to the child that since the other kid hasn't got a toy now so he/she wants to play with this toy. It is helpful for your kid to learn waiting his turn or even missing out since it will teach greater tolerance and cooperativeness in later life.

An important issue in healthy development of the kid's personality is setting boundaries i.e. the child should learn that he/she is not allowed to play with everything at any hour; some things belong to others and some things are quite dangerous to play with.

It is helpful if you let your child decide which of his possessions are not to be shared. Those he/she is very possessive about should be put away in a box and the kid should be told that he/she can play with them later after the group play is over. Do not force him/her to share these things since this can make him/her more possessive.

Consistently return a snatched toy to your kid while not snatching it yourself from any kid. You can use an egg-timer to time each child's turn for the play.

If kids start a fight over a toy, find another toy and give it to your kid, asking him/her to ask the other kid for swapping the toys. This will teach your child negotiating skills.

Encourage you kid your express in words what he wants to do in an irritating situation rather than letting him grab things. This type of teaching will improve the child's linguistic and social skills.

With your consistency in guiding, your child will soon learn playing more enjoyably in groups and easily sharing his treasures.