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There are two behaviours that are almost guaranteed to get you doubting your talents as a parent – and questioning the genes your child has inherited!

Finding out that your pre-schooler has hit another child, or bitten them.

There’s a wide variation among children, but both behaviours are considered normal in very young children. Neither behaviour has anything to do with a child’s parenting (or gene pool), and neither means the child is headed for a lifetime of thuggery and incarceration.

And, both behaviours have similar origins.

Like the rest of us, toddlers get bored, hungry, tired, exasperated and overwhelmed. The difference is, toddlers lack the verbal skills to communicate and explain these emotions. Their vocabulary just isn’t developed enough. They still have limited self-control and they’re just beginning to learn important skills like waiting, sharing, empathy and turn-taking. When a toddler is surrounded by other children jostling and grabbing, not listening, and simply invading each other’s space; for them to not react requires impulse control, which they also won’t fully master until they’re older.

Toddlers rely heavily on their actions to ‘tell’ others what they’re thinking and feeling. They strike back in disagreement. They use their body (or a toy truck!) instead of their vocabulary. Hitting usually peaks around age two, a time when toddlers have very strong feelings but are not yet able to use language effectively to express themselves.

It’s an age when their emotion trumps their thinking skills.

When your child is aggressive, it’s an important sign that they’re out of control and need help to calm down. Staying calm yourself will help your child settle more quickly. Thinking through the following questions can help you see patterns and figure out what the underlying reason for your child’s behaviour might be:

  • Where is the behaviour happening?
  • What about the environment (too crowded, bright, overwhelming, etc.)?
  • Is the behaviour directed towards one specific person or group?
  • When does the behaviour usually happen?
  • What happened right before?
  • Has there been a recent change in their world that’s making them feel upset, out of control, sad, or less safe and secure?

When you understand the reasons behind your toddler’s need to hit (there’s always a reason), and respect what’s happening in their world, you’re better equipped to help them through this challenging stage.

They’ll soon out-grow it.

Lightbulb Learning Childcare is a brand new daycare centre near Hamlin Hill Regional Park Mt Wellington  offering quality care and affordable education for children aged 3 months to 5 years old.

If you feel that you need a childcare centre to support your child’s great start in life, feel free to email us at hello@lightbulblearning.co.nz or you may call 573 5049. Come and visit us at Lightbulb Learning Childcare.

Article Source: PDHQ

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Babies and children love movement.

As infants, children love to sway; as they get older, they need to move. Swings have been fulfilling these needs and delighting both children and infants, largely unchanged, for thousands of years. As early as the 5th Century B.C. Greek artists have captured children and women swinging on swings.

Whether it’s the latest hi-tech swing set with all the safety features, or an old tyre hanging from a tree branch, swinging has near universal appeal for children. But it’s not just about fun. This enjoyable activity also has many health and developmental benefits.

  • Swinging helps children develop gross motor skills. Running and jumping onto swings, pushing other swingers, pumping legs to gain height and jumping out of swings all aid with locomotion, balance and coordination skills.
  • Swinging also gently develops muscle strength and fine motor skills. Balancing on a swing seat can strengthen the core. Holding on to the chain of a swing strengthens grip strength and finger coordination – an essential milestone for children learning to write.
  • Swinging helps with sensory integration, or in other words, the body’s ability to organise its experiences with touch, movement, body awareness, sight, sound, and the pull of gravity. Sensory integration incorporates spatial awareness and inner ear balance too. Stimulating the senses through swinging gives the child’s brain practice at organising and interpreting spatial information, providing a foundation for complex learning and behaviour later.
  • The rocking motion of swinging stimulates the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that helps us focus.
  • Swinging encourages social interaction and development. Although swinging can be a solitary activity, children usually enjoy swinging together. Since there are usually a limited number of swings available, children learn cooperation, turn-taking and sharing.
  • The movement of swinging helps develop perceptual skills – the process of extracting and organising information and giving meaning to what we see.
  • Swinging is calming!

Even twisting and untwisting on the swing has benefits. According to research, the act of spinning stimulates different parts of a child’s brain simultaneously, which promotes the development of interconnected pathways in the brain. These connections are important for learning skills such as spatial awareness, rhythm, balance and muscle control.

So, keep reminding yourself (push) that all those endless hours (push) at the back end of the swing (push) are making a big contribution (push) to your child’s development (push).

No wonder children never tire of it (push). They’re learning so much (push).

(Push).

(Push).

(Push)…

Lightbulb Learning Childcare is a brand new Mt Wellington day care centre offering quality care and affordable education for children aged 3 months to 5 years old.

If you feel that you need a childcare centre to support your child’s great start in life, feel free to email us at hello@lightbulblearning.co.nz or you may call 573 5049. Come and visit us at Lightbulb Learning Childcare.

Article Source: PDHQ

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LightBulb Learning Blog by Lblearning - 1y ago

Making marks is an important milestone for preschoolers – although this may not always be easy to appreciate when the ‘marks’ are made on a bedroom wall in permanent marker…

Around the age of two, children discover the sheer pleasure of making marks. They pick up any crayon, pencil or pen and they scribble. It’s easy to dismiss the different lines and circles children create as just ‘scribbles’, but actually, children are mark-making, and it’s the first step towards writing.

Holding and controlling a pen takes a lot of skill; skills involving hand-eye co-ordination and muscle control in both hands and fingers. Making marks enables children to develop their hand eye co-ordination and fine motor skills through:

  • holding a pen
  • deciding what grip suits them best
  • deciding which hand feels most natural
  • making small controlled movements using the pen

Mark-making also opens the door for children to express themselves in a completely new way. It gives children the opportunity to express their feelings and thoughts without relying solely upon verbal communication. They can share with the adults around them as they draw, and their completed pictures offer an ongoing opportunity for children to keep sharing their insights on what their picture represents.

Mark-making does not just have to involve a pen and paper. Children can be taken outside and draw on concrete with chalks that can be washed away, or they can draw in sand. Making marks can involve drawing on frosted windows, or even dad’s dirty car!

We need to ensure we respond positively and enthusiastically to the marks our children make, giving lots of praise for their hard work. We need to take the time to listen whilst our children explain their picture and share the story they have created. Negative comments, lack of interest, over-questioning the image or trying to correct it, can lead to the child feeling disheartened, which slows their progress towards writing.

Mark making, added together with the encouragement and praise from adults around them, creates a fantastic opportunity for children to make sense of the world and express their feelings in a fun and creative way – all the while reaping in the developmental benefits mark making has to offer.

Lightbulb Learning Childcare is a brand new daycare facilities near me Mt Wellington offering quality care and affordable education for children aged 3 months to 5 years old.

If you feel that you need a childcare centre to support your child’s great start in life, feel free to email us at hello@lightbulblearning.co.nz or you may call 573 5049. Come and visit us at Lightbulb Learning Childcare.

Article Source: PDHQ

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It’s often claimed that children save their worst behaviour for their parents – and there can seem to be an awful lot of truth in that statement, especially when our child comes home from preschool!

There’s a reason.

When our child is at preschool, they’re working hard at self-regulating. Self-regulation requires them to control two things: their emotions and their impulses. At preschool our child will be trying hard not to cry when they’re hurt or angry (emotional control) and they’ll be trying to follow the routines and timetables set by others (impulse control).

By contrast, when a child is at home they will be more comfortable expressing their emotions, they’ll feel less inhibited, and they’ll get to exercise more control over when they eat, play, have quiet time or run around.

For young children, the self-regulation that is needed when they’re away from the comfort of their parents is arduous. Throw in the fact that they’re at preschool learning and navigating new friendships and expectations, away from home all day; it’s really no wonder children unravel after preschool (and school).

What can we do to promote calmness after preschool?

  • First, we should make sure their basic needs have been met (perhaps a snack on the way home to get their blood sugar up even before they get in the door).
  • Let them relax.
  • Give them space.
  • Encourage them to lie down (either with or without us).
  • Suggest quiet activities like puzzles, painting, colouring and play dough – nice ways for children to unwind.
  • Set up ‘invitations to play’ (allowing children to direct their own play by offering open-ended, meaningful resources to explore).
  • Be patient and calm ourselves.
  • Encourage them to go outside and blow off steam in the fresh air (or the rain!).

It might even be worth considering an occasional day off from preschool to let them replenish their self-regulation reserves.

We may get the worst of our child’s behaviour, but we get the best of it too!

Lightbulb Learning Childcare is a brand new child day care in Mt Wellington offering quality care and affordable education for children aged 3 months to 5 years old.

If you feel that you need a childcare centre to support your child’s great start in life, feel free to email us at hello@lightbulblearning.co.nz or you may call 573 5049. Come and visit us at Lightbulb Learning Childcare.

Article Source: PDHQ

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LightBulb Learning Blog by Lblearning - 1y ago

It’s not only children that fall back on “I can’t do it!”

It’s not only children that want to give up when things don’t look easy.

And, it’s not only children who find it unhelpful to be on the receiving end of a righteous sermon insisting “you really can do this – it’s not hard”.

We can all relate.

But as counter-intuitive as it may seem, part of encouraging independence in our child is to allow them to think that they can’t do something – that sets a benchmark by which their future feelings of satisfaction, confidence and self-esteem can be measured as they strive towards, and conquer, their ‘insurmountable’ tasks.

It’s OK if our child feels something is too hard.

Our toddlers and young children are growing, developing, and changing every day. They’re experiencing and learning a lot, and at that age they can get tired and overwhelmed easily. They’re dealing with really big emotions and they’re working on mastering tasks that they see us complete every day. So, of course they are going to say they can’t…

and of course they want to give up …

and of course they want us to do it for them.

And that’s OK.

But letting them off the hook (and doing those ‘insurmountable’ things for them) is not going to help them become independent.

How can we can help them without doing that?

We can:

  • encourage our child to feel good about what they can do (not what they can’t)
  • ask them to “give it three tries” before we help
  • add an element of fun or play
  • make it easy to succeed (if the shoes keep going on the wrong foot, put a dot on the inside of each shoe so they can match it)
  • give choices rather than directions (“Would you like to put away your books or your toys?”)

We really mustn’t:

  • criticise, judge or ‘correct’ their efforts (children at this age really do want to please us and if we always rework their attempts they have every right to give up!)

We have to be willing to let our child make mistakes as they learn their independence.

And, if we still get a lot of resistance we may need to take a step back. Our child may need some more one-on-one time with us until their natural desire to be independent takes over again.

Lightbulb Learning Childcare is a brand new  affordable daycare near Mt Wellington offering quality care and affordable education for children aged 3 months to 5 years old.

If you feel that you need a childcare centre to support your child’s great start in life, feel free to email us at hello@lightbulblearning.co.nz or you may call 573 5049. Come and visit us at Lightbulb Learning Childcare.

Article Source: PDHQ

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LightBulb Learning Blog by Lblearning - 1y ago

Few young children are consistently cooperative when it comes to brushing teeth.

And of course, even if they’re keen, young children lack the manual dexterity to do a thorough job.

Brushing properly and regularly doesn’t just benefit our children while they are growing up; it sets the stage for a lifetime of great teeth, good oral hygiene, and easy dental check-ups.

If brushing teeth is a battle at your place, try these tips:

  • Make brushing teeth fun. Children (like us!) have a natural aversion to being forced to do something. Turn it into something they want to do. Bring in a stuffed animal to brush too, time brushing with a song or egg timer, or make brushing a contest.
  • Celebrate when they’re done. Be sure to compliment them on a great job.
  • Brush with them. Set a good example by not treating brushing your own teeth as a chore. Get identical toothbrushes. Show them the right way, project excitement. They’ll want to join in.
  • Make a mess. With lots of brushing there should be lots of foam and bubbles. Encourage children to make lots of bubbles.
  • Let them choose. If your child can pick their own toothbrush and toothpaste then their choice invests them in the process and makes them feel as if they have some control and a role to play.
  • Establish rewards. If your children know they are working towards an unbroken streak or a goal number then they will be more willing to brush better. Make a chart and mark off the days.
  • Make it a family activity. Brush and floss in front of them enough times and they will want to join in.
  • Let your child brush your teeth too. Children feel in control, not like someone is at their mouth with a point object!
  • Get out of the bathroom. Brush on outings, at the beach, or just go outside and use a garden hose!
  • If toothpaste is the issue, skip it. We don’t have to have toothpaste to clean our teeth.
  • Get in front of a mirror.
  • Don’t expect perfection at the start. We’re establishing a life-long habit here!

The bottom line: it’s all about turning brushing from a chore children are forced to do into a fun, important activity they want to do.

Lightbulb Learning Childcare is a brand new childcare near Hamlin Hill offering quality care and affordable education for children aged 3 months to 5 years old.

If you feel that you need a childcare centre to support your child’s great start in life, feel free to email us at hello@lightbulblearning.co.nz or you may call 573 5049. Come and visit us at Lightbulb Learning Childcare.

Article Source: PDHQ

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LightBulb Learning Blog by Lblearning - 1y ago

Young children love to try to feed themselves.

Pretty much as soon as we introduce them to solid food, children start to show signs of wanting to be independent – be it reaching for the spoon, or trying to take food off their plate. Unfortunately for parents, children don’t move straight to knife and fork and proper table etiquette! They use their hands, and much of their food ends up on their face, or on the floor…

Messy eating and playing with food is a normal part of a child’s development when they are learning to eat independently – and it’s a very important stage for a child. It’s not just because they are learning to feed themselves; they are learning some pretty important skills besides.

  • They’re learning about taste, texture, smell and the temperature of food.
  • They’re learning that a small piece of soft fruit or vegetable is easier to pick up than yoghurt.
  • They’re honing their fine-motor skills and learning how to coordinate and control their movements.
  • They’re exploring the important principle of object permanence. Children aren’t born with the awareness that objects continue to exist when those objects are out of sight. Figuring out what happens to things (food) when they disappear, and learning to anticipate their reappearance, are big cognitive leaps. The not-so-charming problem of food over the edge of the high chair is a small price to pay.
  • They’re learning about gravity: that objects fall down, not up.

In this hit-and-miss, messy food eating there’s a lot of learning going on (not to mention the prospect of an exciting new game – having Mum or Dad pick up their food off the floor!).

Let’s marvel at the skills our child is learning, and do our best not to turn their food adventures into an exciting new game (the three best strategies are probably to ignore their experiments, calmly pick up the food without fuss, or wait until the meal is over and do just one clean-up).

However, if the food is being delivered across the room in an overarm throw by a two-year old, it may be time for a new strategy!

Lightbulb Learning Childcare is a brand new Mt Wellington best daycare near Hamlin Hill offering quality care and affordable education for children aged 3 months to 5 years old.

If you feel that you need a childcare centre to support your child’s great start in life, feel free to email us at hello@lightbulblearning.co.nz or you may call 573 5049. Come and visit us at Lightbulb Learning Childcare.

Article Source: PDHQ

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