Dealing With Teething, Money, Playdates, Disagreements And Reading…Phew!


How can I help my teething child? Teething is one of those things that most first-time parents fear. A teething child will spend time going back and forth between cranky and miserable and this definitely takes a toll on both the child and the parents. To ease the pain of teething, consider giving your child a cold, wet washcloth to suck on. This will ease the pain and distract the child. Most pediatricians advise that you stay away from numbing agents, which can reduce the suckling instinct and reduce the amount that your child will eat while they are teething. If your child is running a fever, or has a runny nose, it is probably a sign that something else is happening because these are not signs of teething.

What should I do to teach my young child about money? Open a bank of your own! This gives you the ability to teach your children about money management without giving your child cash that they can spend frivolously or lose. The process is simple. Set up a spreadsheet on your computer that will serve as the bank register. Give your child an old checkbook, or make up some checks with the child’s name on them. When your child wants spending money, they will ‘withdraw’ it from their account. At the end of every week, you will ‘deposit’ your child’s allowance into the account instead of handing the child cash that can be lost or misplaced. This is a great way to keep track of your child’s spending habits and to ensure that your child isn’t losing money or spending it all on things that you would prefer they didn’t have.

How can I stop struggling with my older child? Struggles of will are common between parents and older children, who want independence and try to push limits wherever they can. The key here is to pick the battles that you feel are worth fighting. For example, if you are not willing to negotiate over your child wearing a coat in the winter you need to make that perfectly clear. You might offer to negotiate over gloves and other cold weather gear however. Never give your child the option of not wearing a head covering to prevent the loss of body heat! In some cases, such struggles become heated and emotional and as a parent you need to keep your cool and be firm and consistent with your children.

How can I set up successful play dates for my child? Two’s company and three’s a crowd. This is important, and most parents do not realize this until it happens in front of them. Young children already have some anxiety over sharing their playthings, so it is better not to invite more than one child over to play at a time. As your child gets older, it will be ok to incorporate additional playmates in your play dates, but a toddler will definitely enjoy their friends better one at a time. If you feel an inclination to invite multiple kids, then do so in even numbers including your child. Two, four or even six children at a time may be ok as long as each pair of kids seems to form a common interest.

What should I do to encourage my child to read? Young children and babies need to see and hear you reading to them from the very beginning so that they can develop language skills. But, school aged children are less inclined to sit and have you read a book to them. You will want to make sure that they are spending time reading books however, because they need to practice reading to become effective at it. Interact with your young children when reading to them. Have them point out things in the book, or predict what will come next. When you kids start reading chapter books that are short in length, read the book so that you are prepared to ask them about what they are reading, and to determine if they are getting a grasp on the content. Teach your children from a young age that reading is enjoyable and fun and that there are books available on every topic, so there is truly a book out there for everyone!



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February 23, 2010

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