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The 5 mistakes Big People make with their toddlers.

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1. They haven’t taught their little people to sleep unassisted.

So this guy comes in at the top of the list because sleep deprivation is TORTURE. It’s also the root cause of many other issues. Most of the clients I see are having trouble with some aspect of sleeping. Their Little People may be catnapping, waking through the night, demanding seventeen glasses of water at bedtime, not napping, napping too much, getting out of bed over and over and over again (or maybe just once to take up residence in yours).

If sleep is an issue in your house, make it a priority to sort it out. If you’d bitten the bullet a month ago, calculate how many extra hours of sleep you would have gotten. Now add a few more and recognise that this is the amount of sleep you will miss if you don’t fix it for another month. Kids don’t ‘grow out’ of sleep issues. They need you to teach them to manage it on their own.

2. They say more ‘don’ts’ than ‘do’s’.

Now, my Dad is a sailor and I have spent much of my life on boats. Perhaps you have too, but for just a minute I want you to pretend that you have never sailed.

Imagine I have invited you to come on an adventure around the harbour with me. It’s a beautiful day and you’re really excited to cruise around drinking champagne, just like in the movies.
Unfortunately for you, my boat is really big and the crew needs you to help get her around the harbour. You are given the job of ‘trimmer’. You’re a bit startled that so much is expected of you, and have absolutely no idea what you are meant to do. You sit where you are told to sit, and as the boat takes off you start feeling really anxious. ‘Grab that halyard!’ someone yells at you. You’re bewildered and pick up a rope. ‘Not the green one’. Errr, okay. You drop it and pick up another rope curled up nearby. ‘No, don’t touch that and get out of the way the boom is going to knock your block off!’.

Firstly, the people on my boat aren’t very friendly are they!
Secondly, it seem a bit unrealistic that nobody would pipe up and tell you rope is the right rope to pull (the red one, duh).

But as a toddler, who isn’t clear on exactly what you are supposed to be doing, it’s pretty likely you’ll hear a few don’ts. Don’t touch that. Don’t do that. Don’t hit me. Don’t you even think about it. Don’t poke the cat. Don’t make a mess. Don’t stick your finger in my nostril, especially of you’ve just been scratching your bum!

You get the idea. Try some ‘Do’s’. I love it when you draw pictures on the paper. Can you show me how you can make a square with these sticks? Let’s run to that tree! Ready, set, DO!

 

3. They try to control the uncontrollable.

There are two things you have absolutely no control over.

  • When your toddler sleeps
  • What your toddler eats.

‘What?’ I hear you gasping. Sure you control nap times and meals to a point. But only your Little Person can control when they actually drift off to dreamland. Same goes for what they will and will not swallow. The best you can do is create an environment that promotes the outcome you would like, and cross your fingers.

Remember: It is your job to provide good, nutritious food. It is their job to eat it. (Rejoice! Disengage from the dinner battle!)

4. They let their toddlers get hungry in supermarkets.

Replace hungry with tired, overstimulated or bored and you get the same outcome. Did you ever play the game ‘The Sims’? It was where you created a world full of characters and then looked after them to make sure their every whim was tended to (Sound familiar?).
I often think of this visual representation of core needs from the game:

gif mine sims the sims 2 ts3 needs ts2

If your Little Person hits the red zone in these core needs, they will have a tantrum. So would you.

(P.s. I love the word ‘hangry’. It’s when you are so hungry you get angry.)

 

5. They forget to look after themselves first.

If you were to choose 10 core needs and draw yourself a ‘Sims personal needs chart’, what would you include? How many would be in the orange or red zone?

I often forget to feed myself until after midday, but I’ve managed to keep Little People’s tummies full since sunrise. Getting deeper than physical needs, what about emotional ones? How is your ‘Personal time out’ bar looking? What about ‘mentally stimulated’ and ‘adult company’?

They say when the oxygen masks fall down on a plane, you must fit your own mask first, before helping babies and children. Why? Because if you manage to fit theirs first, and then pass out from oxygen deprivation, who’s going to save you and  your baby then?

If you have a breakdown because you haven’t been to the toilet alone for three years, then what?

Book yourself a babysitter. They are much cheaper than psychologists.

 

 

The life-changing four steps to end bedtime battles.

Posted by | Angelic Monsters, Sleep | No Comments

Step one:

Follow routine leading up to bedtime. This should start from dinner time and look something like:

5:00-5:30 Dinner
5:30-6:15 Quiet play
6:00-6:30 Bathtime
6:30-6:45 Teeth toilet and last call for anything they need.
6:45-7:00 Into bed for books, cuddles and kisses.
7:00 – Lights out and begin this process!

Step two:

Give the children their last kisses and cuddles and explain to them “its bedtime now, show me how you can close your eyes and go to sleep”. Read More

Playgroups in Sydney – Eastern Suburbs.

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Glebe Galloping Giraffes

St Johns Anglican Church Glebe Point Road GLEBE NSW 2037 Phone 1: 9552 4164

Day Time Type
Tuesday 10:00 General
Thursday 10:00 General

Glebe MyTime

MyTime groups provide local support for mums, dads, grandparents and anyone caring for a young child under school age with a disability or chronic medical condition. Glebe SACC 9 – 25 Derwent Street GLEBE NSW 2037 Phone 1: 9684 5273 Phone 2: 1800 171 882

Day Time Type
Monday 10:00 Developmental/Disabilities

Millers Point/The Rocks

KGV Recreational Centre Cumberland Street THE ROCKS NSW 2000

Day Time Type
Tuesday 10:00 General

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Emma’s Parenting Pearls.

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Never let your (very) little monster be awake for more than two hours. Up until the age of about 18 months, little people don’t cope being awake for more than two hours. An overtired little person is not a happy little person. So if they are up at seven, be ready to head back to bed at nine!

Listen to everybody and take what works for you, and leave the rest. Not into controlled crying but think the routines in that book could work for you? Say thanks for the routines and ditch the rest.
Lots of people will just disregard the whole book because the ‘parenting style’ doesn’t fit with theirs.

Listen. Before you answer, take a breath. Make sure they are finished before you respond. You’ll find both big and little people often have more to say and can talk themselves though things. Being and attentive listener will also help you to be less reactive. Double bonus.

Stay calm. Your kids mirror you. If they are yelling, what are you doing?

Just when you think…

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Just when you think you’re having an “I am really nailing this parenting thing” kind of day, your little monster throws an award worthy tantrum at the supermarket checkout.

Just when think you have your child settling well and sleeping through, daylight savings starts.

Just when you think you have finally won the dummy battle, grandma comes to babysit and brings a plug.

Just when you think you’re little one is a superstar veggie eater, he discovers that chicken nuggets are his favourite and won’t eat anything else.

Just when you think you have your routine solidified, your baby decides that one sleep, not two, works better for them.

Just when you think you’re ready for a nice long, quiet lunch while your little angel sleeps, they wake up sick and inconsolable.

Just when you think toilet training is a challenge completed, your little person has a very public accident.

Just when you think life is getting easier, and perhaps you’d consider round, two, three or four, your youngest turns two-and-a-half.

Techtime!

Posted by | Angelic Monsters, Technology | No Comments

You know, screen time gets a pretty bad rap. While I agree that it’s scary how much time some kids spend trying to acquire square eyes, a little bit can be a really positive thing.

Sometimes after a big day, even little people need some help to vegetate. I know that when I am stressed and tired sometimes the idiotbox is a godsend for my brain. There are some absolutely fantastic kids movies and TV shows out there, and how lucky that we live in an ‘on-demand’ world, where we have the ability to pick and choose what we feed our kids sponges.  I still remember things I learnt from shows like play school, art attack and those science shows that were on the ABC mid morning on sick days.

The educational resources available to little people these days are without question the most advanced learning tools ever. And let’s keep in mind that their future is one that will be centred around technology. I feel that keeping kids away from tools they MUST know how to use in the future is actually giving them a slight disadvantage later in life.

I’ve compiled a list of great kid friendly sites that your little monsters will love to cruise around while you do the dishes/laundry/homework/work-work/(insert list that goes forever here).

So how much is too much? I’d say anything under two hours in a day is fine, and I’ve heard it can unsettle sleep if screens are used too close to bedtime. Other than that, get the kid protector on that iPad!!

 

http://www.abcya.com/

http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/

http://www.seussville.com/

http://www.switchzoo.com/

http://readingeggs.com.au/

http://www.mathletics.com.au/

 

What’s your favourite website or app?

Little people are just that, people. Not robots.

Posted by | Angelic Monsters, Behaviour | No Comments

So your little monsters aren’t so Angelic?

Since when did obedience become the epitome of good parenting?

We all want impeccably behaved children, right? Well maybe not, says Annalisa Barbieri. Here, she questions why there is such a fashion for taming our youngsters

Two stories caught my attention recently. One was a report that breastfed babies are more challenging in their behaviour and the other was about a new book called French Children Don’t Throw Food: about how French children apparently behave really well, in restaurants and just generally.
Read More

Getting your little ones to sleep peacefully.

Posted by | Angelic Monsters, Sleep | No Comments

One of the greatest gifts you can set up for yourself, is a solid bedtime routine.

This is something you can start when your baby is brand new, or already terrorising your adult quiet time.
It is so important that we adults get to have some ‘grown-up time’ after your little ones go to bed. This time is for maintaining your relationship, having conversations without being interrupted, being able to switch off and relax, or that sanity saving glass of wine … Actually, maybe its not the wine that is saving your sanity, it’s just having the space to drink it peacefully.

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If you want to know more about transforming your child's behaviour: Click here!