Posts Tagged ‘Parents’

Three Things Nobody Tells You About Preschoolers

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Welcome, Jen Singer, who is guest posting today!
Jen is the creator of and the author of presents: Stop Second Guessing Yourself – The Preschool Years (HCI, September 2009). She offers up three things nobody tells you about parenting preschoolers — and how to deal with them…

If you’re just coming out of the exhausting, filled-with-major-milestones toddler years, you may wonder what lies ahead. Preschoolers are like tiny teens in light-up sneakers: increasingly independent and yet in dire need of your supervision and guidance as they spend less and less time with you. A few tips:

1. Their milestones are far more nebulous. Your toddler hit the Grand Slams of Milestones: walking, talking, potty training. But your preschooler’s milestones are a little less concrete. As you parent your three-to-five-year-old, you’ll come to learn about fine and gross motor skills, socialization and kindergarten readiness, among others. They’re a wishy-washy bunch of milestones, but you can learn to deal with them as your child gets ready for preschool and beyond.

What to do. One of the most-important milestones is getting your child get ready for school. Picture a preschool teacher trying to help 20 three-year-olds on with their coats, and you’ll see why these teaching your child these basics are as important as going over counting and colors. The school-readiness three:
a. Teach him to put on his own coat.
b. Teach her how to share with playdates, playgroups and have lots of patience.
c. Teach her how to sit still (or at least more still than usual) with floor time and bedtime reading.

2. Discipline becomes more difficult as your preschooler becomes more verbal.

You’ve decided that your preschooler should wear her pink dress on the first day of school, but she has different plans – and she tells you so. Before you know it, you feel like you’re in mediation with a very skilled lawyer who has compiled compelling reasons why her Cinderella Halloween costume would be more suitable garb for the occasion.

What to do: Step up the sophistication of your discipline plan as your three-to-five-year-old gets more and more savvy. Preschoolers have great verbal skills and a frighteningly proficient ability to push your buttons. The Time-Outs that worked for your toddler need to be amped up now. Here’s how:
a. Choose which behaviors are misdemeanors and which are felonies beforehand, so you know what to correct as they come.
b. Be as emotionless as possible when you dole out consequences, because preschoolers love to get your goat.
c. Don’t set up a Time-Out in a fun spot, like the middle of the playroom.
d. A Time-Out should equal one minute for each year of age.
e. Revisit the infraction after the Time-Out ends by talking about it.
f. Stick to your guns. If you skip a Time-Out now, your preschooler will make note of it for later.

3. Preschoolers can be far more independent than we give them credit for.
Your preschooler just got up from the kitchen table, leaving behind his empty plate and cup. You think nothing of it. After all, you’ve been waiting on him since he was born. But now that your child is more dexterous and able to focus better than when he was a toddler, he’s ready to take on more tasks around the house.

What to do: Anybody who actually likes to sing the Barney ‘Clean-Up’ song ought to be put to work. I’m not talking about scrubbing floors while singing songs from ‘Oliver,’ but preschoolers can do a variety of chores – and they may actually enjoy them. Get started by:
a. Making it easy. Stick to simple tasks, like putting toys in the toy box or putting cups in the dishwasher.
b. Giving guidance. Break out tasks with simple steps, such as “Put your doll in the toy box… Good! Now put your socks in the hamper… Good!”
c. Set a deadline. She’ll be more likely to clean her stuff off the coffee table now if you tell her to finish it by the time the egg timer rings.
d. Praise, praise, praise. Who doesn’t want some positive feedback when they help out around the house?

Check Out

Monday, August 10th, 2009

There's a great new blog for parents of teens, and you don't need to live in Idaho to appreciate it. is headed up by one of my favorite parenting-mag editors, Liz Buckingham, whom I've worked with on the print side for years. She edits Treasure Valley Family Magazine in Boise.

Liz and I are both parents of teens, and I love getting her perspective on things like teen parties (gulp), the college-admission process (which will come all too soon…), communication, power struggles (which started all too early, IMO!) and a lot more.

The blog cover things that all parents of teens can relate to, whether we live in Idaho or Indiana. Click here for a list of recent posts. Happy reading!

Parents Magazine Wants Your Family’s “Giving-Back” Ideas

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

I love Parents magazine’s wonderful blog, GoodyBlog. (Their fun tag line is “Must see. Must Do. Must Have. Right Now,” and they cover parenting news, hot new baby and kid products and much more.

One warning: The site is addictive, so don’t get too engrossed right before it’s time to go pick up the kids from a play date! They even have a cool GoodyBlog Facebook group that you can join for more news and tips.

Today’s post is especially fun. The editors are looking for families who
give back during the holidays (yes, they know it’s July, but magazine editors have to think far ahead), whether it’s making a cookie
plate for your local nursing home or making and decorating your own
canned goods for a homeless shelter.

If you’ve done a project (big or small; simple is fine) with your
kids to help those in need during the holidays, head over to GoodyBlog and share your idea in the comments section. Your idea and story could be featured in Parents this holiday season!